Fujitsu made a wearable for cows

MWC 2016: And the award for wackiest wearable goes to...

Fujitsu has developed a wearable for cows that is designed to help farmers closely detect estrus (heat) in its female cattle to improve the ability to induce pregnancy.

The Estrus Detection System for Cattle or ESDC for short, uses an orange tracking sensor that's essentially just a pedometer. It fits around the cow's ankle and looks a bit like a big electronic ASBO tag.

With a receiver set up inside a barn nearby, hourly movement data is analysed by Fujitsu's data centres in the cloud and then sent to the farmer on a tablet, smartphone or PC.

Essential reading: The best wearables of MWC 2016

This means farmers can precisely detect estrus, the appropriate time for artificial insemination. It's a very short window time during the fertility period, roughly around 16 hours, and it's tough for a farmer to keep an eye on every cow's movements.

The hope is that this can improve conception rates and reduce the expense of calving cycles. It can also detect diseases at an earlier stage.

The cow wearable has been in development since 2013 and is already being put to good use in Japan and Korea where farmers have seen a noticeable improvement in pregnancy rates. A mammoth 3 year battery life means farmers won't have to get the wellies on and head into the field to change the batteries too often either.

Fujitsu is also trialling the wearable tech in Europe with research tests being carried out in Turkey and Romania. If you're wondering whether you'll ever see this wearable appearing on the ankles of other animals, that's not going to happen.

Some tests were carried out on other animals but it just didn't work. So for now, this is just for the cows.

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  • waayoo·

    This is not a new thing! Other companies like DeLaval & Lemmer Fulwood have been doing it for years... Some systems have wearables around the leg, others have them around the neck. The DeLaval one is also used for other things around the stable with a really sophisticated program. The computer automatically sorts cows back into their groups after milking them with computer controlled doors, the cow needing fertilization get separated etc. At the milking station the computer automatically knows which cow it is and gets all the milking stats, so you can see if one is not healthy by their daily milk rates etc. 
    The computer chips on animals thing was first developed for cow-specific food allocation already 20 years ago (Lemmer Fullwood) and was then developed into lots of other things... Now the normal chip any horse gets implanted into their neck to know who the owner is etc. can also be used for special computer systems for feeding and all these things. 

  • blaet·

    Same goes for Nedap Livestock Management, they've had this for years. Props to Fujitsu, though, for their marketing.