Border control dogs will soon trial smart collars to track health

Wearables to feed data in real time
police dog
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US Customs and Border guard dogs will soon trial collars that track their health in real time, much like many standard pet wearables.

That's after a Department of Homeland Security project awarded $198,000 to PetPace, a company that makes sensor collars that keep tabs on heart rate, respiration and temperature of K-9 units within Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Read next: Living with pet wearables

"CBP has one of the largest and most diverse canine programs in the country, with more than 1,500 canine teams trained in disciplines such as search and rescue and firearms and currency detection," said CBP acting commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

"Our canines are vital partners in achieving CBP's mission and often operate in intense climates with serious physical demands. This program provides an opportunity to gather new data in the training environment which could translate to improved animal performance and care in the field."

The award was given under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), a Homeland Security initiative in the Californian area aiming to cultivate relationships with technology innovators.

In this case, the SVIP K9 Wearable Technologies Call aims to use personalised, real-time data gathered from canines through wearable tech, with this then being used to gain new insights and improve animal health and performance.

This includes being able to record and transmit vital signs, receiving, storing and analysing vital sign data, and maintaining and updating sensor components.

Of course, it's no surprise to see a lucrative deal in this field, with recent reports indicating that the market for pet wearables could reach $2.5 billion by 2024. It's highly likely that this will also factor in animal-friendly wearables being used outside of the home as well.

Border control dogs will soon trial smart collars to track health

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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