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愛犬家には必須のアイテム-スマート首輪という市場を知っていますか

あなたがもしも犬が大好きだったら、どんなものでも犬のために買いたいと思うに違いない。スマート首輪はそんな人のためには必須のアイテムだろう。



マイカーに「Dog Mom」というステッカーこそ貼っていないが、愛犬家を自負している。この約10年ずっと相棒である2頭の愛犬は、最高級の犬用ベッドや歯ブラシをもっており、健康保険にも入っている。

Link AKCの犬用スマート首輪「SMART DOG COLLAR」は、そんな愛犬家がつい欲しくなるグッズだ。立派な革製の首輪で、わが家の犬たちがこれまで身につけたグッズのなかでは、ずば抜けて贅沢な感じだ。首輪はGPSツールとして使えるだけでなく、付属アプリには便利で楽しい機能が盛りだくさんとなっている。

例えば、愛犬の首輪に埋め込まれたライトの点灯や、彼らの活動の追跡、楽しい冒険の写真撮影、獣医での治療記録の把握などができる。ひとつ問題があるとすると、この首輪が最も効果を発揮するのは、わが家の犬のように飼い主のそばをめったに離れない犬たちかもしれない。

アプリと連携する機能

首輪のサイズは、超小型犬用の9インチ(約23cm)から、超大型犬用の25インチ(63.5cm)まで選べる。だが、首輪と一体のトラッカー本体はかなり大きい。犬の首に合うように湾曲した形状をしたトラッカーは全長が12.7cmあり、もっと小さいサイズを選ぶことはできない。体重約32kgで牧畜犬のミックスである我が家の愛犬はトラッカーの存在に気づいていないが、もっと小さい犬だと巨大だと感じるだろう。

この首輪をフル活用するには、Android版とiOS版があるアプリの月額課金プランを申し込む必要がある。月額10ドルだが、1年契約や2年契約ならもっと安くなる。このアプリを利用すれば、スマートフォンから(信じられないほど明るい)内蔵LEDライトを点灯させることもできるし、ベル音を鳴らして「おいで」のトレーニングをしたり、ビープ音を鳴らしてしつけに役立てたりすることもできる。

02 smartdogcollar 愛犬家には必須のアイテム スマート首輪という市場を知っていますか

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF LINK AKC

さらに、プラグイン方式のホームベースで愛犬の位置を確認できるほか、活動を追跡して毎日の目標を設定することもできる。わが家の犬の場合、犬種と大きさに基づいて、1日48分の運動を勧められた。

散歩や公園に行くなら、赤色の「Start Adventure(冒険を開始)」ボタンを押せば、行程のGPS記録を付けてくれる。スマートフォンのカメラで写真を撮影しておけば、記載された位置情報とマッチさせた楽しい記録が作成できる。

アプリには、「Records(記録)」タブもある。このタブには、予防接種や健康診断に関する情報を保存するメモ機能のほかに、気温アラーム機能がある。許容範囲の最低気温と最高気温を設定でき、それを極端に超える気温を首輪が検知すると、トラッカーが警告してくれるのだ。

だが、首輪を実際にテストしてみたところ、この機能にはちょっと問題があった。太平洋岸北西部の冬は温暖だ。最高気温を最も低い値に設定し、最低気温を最も高く設定してみたのだが、トラッカーを冷蔵庫にでも入れない限り、アラームを作動させることはできなかった。だが、非常事態で犬を車に置いていく必要がある場合には、この機能は役に立つだろう(なお、わたしは絶対にそんなことはしないし、そんなことをしてはいけない)。

via wired 機能満載の「スマート首輪」を飼い犬で試してみたら、愛犬家にはオススメの一品だった

 

テクノロジーが展開する

いま、IoTという言葉がどんどん広まってきています。これはInter of Things、つまりモノのインターネットのことを指します。例えば体重計も、いまやネットにつながっているので、乗っかるだけでデータをスマートフォンに送ったりします。いちいちメモしたりする必要なく、毎日の体重の変化はもちろん、身長や年齢まで入力してさえいれば、平均的な必要運動量なども出してくれるのです。

 

あらゆることがインターネットと繋がることで便利になるという意味では、今回のスマート首輪というのもまさにそれにあたるでしょう。なんといっても、愛犬家にとっては嬉しい情報がたくさんです。犬がどこに行っているのかすぐにわかったり、特定の領域を離れてしまったときもすぐに警報を鳴らすことが出来るのですから。

 

後から振り返った時に、犬とどの辺を散歩したのかといった日常的な情報も残すことが出来ますから、単に便利ということ以上に犬との毎日をもっと豊かなものにすることができるようです。今ですらこれだけの技術があるのですから、将来的にはもっと凄いことが出来るのだろうと考えています。

 

未来のスマート首輪

私が想像するスマート首輪は、将来的にはもっと多様な機能を獲得するものです。例えば犬の発汗量や運動量から体調を予測したり、それに連動して餌を上げる機械にはいくつかのドッグフードが複数種類装填されていて、体調に合わせてブレンドされたものが提供されるでしょう。

 

また首輪でありながらカメラ機能やビデオ機能のようなものを付けておくことで、愛犬がどんな世界を見ているのかを後から追体験することも出来るようになるでしょう。もしかしたらあなたもメガネや首輪のようなデバイスを通して動画を撮影するような時代になっていたとしたら、そのインタラクティブな動きをビデオの中でうまく表現されるようになるのではないでしょうか。

 

犬と人類との歴史は1万年以上続いている非常に長いものです。今までも多様な関わり方があったように、これからも多様な関わり方はどんどん増えていくことでしょう。そしてそこにテクノロジーがなんらかの形で協力することももはや自明のことです。この分野のテクノロジーの発達が楽しみですね。





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