Popularity surges in China for health-monitoring devices for pets

China 24

Popularity surges in China for health-monitoring devices for pets

Technology has been playing a big role in our health. There are all kinds of devices that help keep us on track. Now, pets are getting in on the action.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo shows us how such pet trackers work — and why they’ve become so popular.

Among Ava Lui’s three cats, the one named exotic shorthair weighs the most.

Now she has a new tool to get him in shape.

“When I change the type of food, I know how many calories they take in,” said Lui.   “Then I’ll know whether my cat is too fat or too skinny.”

Exotic Shorthair has a smart tag which cost more than a hundred dollars.

Lui says it’s well worth it, because the device is able to monitor her cat’s activity levels including what he’s eating and drinking and how he’s sleeping.  All that data is tracked with an app on her phone.

In China, Liu lives in Hong Kong where smart tags have become popular.

In China as a whole, a growing wealthy middle class means more disposable income for its pets.

“Back in the day, Chinese pet owners used to just feed their pets leftovers, now they’re more conscious about the pet’s health – they’re buying proper pet food,” said Ng Chi Ho of Suga International Holdings. “We’ve noticed this change, so we’re now producing goods aimed toward those very health conscious Chinese consumers.”

According to Euromonitor International, China’s pet care sector is expected to rise 50 percent to more than $2.5 billion by 2019.

Worldwide, demand for pet wearables is also exploding.

According to Grand View Research, market share in the U.S. for the devices has steadily increased.

It’s expected to hit $900 million by 2022, a 200 percent rise from 2012.

Companies say creating pet-oriented technology is not easy, and the industry has a lot more room to grow.

“Definitely, it is more difficult to develop technology for pets than humans because pets cannot tell their feelings verbally to their owners,” said Alfred Ng of Suga International Holdings. “So we need to have a lot of professional devices to detect the situation of the pet to validate all of our results.”

However, pet owners like Lui look forward to what the future has in store, especially if it means her beloved cats will live longer.

“I just always wish that they would never get sick, that they don’t ever get hurt,” said Lui. “The less I take them to see vets the more time I can spend playing with them. That would be the best.”