The IoP(ets)

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11/23/2015

I am one of the 60 percent of reported Americans who own pets. Apparently, this will drive me to be a smart home customer.

I have two cats. One is older, one is a kitten. I love them to death. Do I need to watch them 24/7? No. They wake up after hours of sleep about 4 a.m., jump on my sleeping head and clamor for breakfast. After they eat, they are rambunctious, then they go back to sleep. For hours. How do I know where they are without a camera? I see their inches-deep hair on my living room sofa.

They greet me at the door when I arrive home about 6 p.m., run around for a few minutes and then go back to sleep. This is no insightful news to cat owners.

But according to Vivint, we should be using smart home technology to take better care of our pets’ “safety, health and overall care.” We can monitor their activity level and food intake. 

The “passion people have for their pets … means a large market opportunity for those companies connecting pets and smart home technology,” the study says.

I get the IoT thing to find lost pets. What I don’t understand is people wanting to check in on their indoor pets, including monitoring their eating habits. One of my cats, the older one, is very fat. “Pet management,” including “smart pet food monitoring,” could become a driving force in the IoT market, the study said. I just prefer to give my fat cat less food.

I’m skeptical, but also interested in who uses this technology. I’ve heard it’s mostly Millennials, but Vivint says the use of smart home tech for pet care “is likely to be one of the strongest demand drivers for the smart home in coming years.”

Pet owners’ passion “could be a significant entry point for many into the smart home,” it said. I have passion for my pets, but they are, afterall, pets. I don’t feel the need to watch them all the time and see where they’re sleeping. I will spare you my opportunity to post photos of them here (but they are both cute, trust me); they don’t need me watching them around the clock. 

Who has another view?  Am I just a bad pet owner?

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