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Berg predicts tenfold increase in internet of cats and dogs

Steve Rogerson
May 3, 2016
Nearly three million pets will be monitored using GPS locator devices in Europe and North America by 2021, according to a research report from M2M analyst firm Berg Insight. This compares with just 300,000 at the end of 2015.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 45 per cent, the number is expected to reach 2.8 million by 2021.
Products for pet tracking and monitoring today range from VHF-based systems mainly intended for hunting dogs, to GPS-based locators aimed at creating peace of mind for owners of domestic dogs and other larger pets. The size and weight of GPS locators equipped with cellular communications modules available today are most suitable for monitoring dogs and cats weighing more than 4kg.
Pet locator devices typically have features that allow owners to view real-time location and set geofences to receive alerts when the pet wanders outside of these. Many devices are also fitted with accelerometer sensors that can give insights into the pet’s behaviour by tracking daily activity and health trends.
Pet locator devices are marketed by a growing number of specialist pet locator vendors, as well as several vendors active in other consumer-oriented locator segments.
The potential market for pet locator devices is very large. There are now an estimated 150 million dogs and 160 million cats in Europe and North America. About 32 per cent of the households in Europe and 65 per cent of the households in North America own at least one pet.
“Most people consider their pets to be part of the family and are willing to spend significant amounts of money on pet products and accessories,” said André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
He said there were still several barriers to growth for pet locator devices, including product performance related factors such as battery life, size and weight, as well as market related factors such as cost and consumer awareness.
“The main remaining barrier is low awareness among potential customers,” he said. “Pet locator devices is a relatively new consumer product category, marketed by about a dozen small companies with limited marketing budgets. Nevertheless, market awareness is building through word of mouth marketing as well as articles and reviews in pet related media.”