Recognising the massive value of the 'Pet Pound' – which surpassed $100bn in 2015 (Euromonitor, 2015) – pet e-commerce brand Fetch has launched an innovation hub dedicated to developing tech-focused products for pets and their owners.
According to the brand, which is owned by British grocery e-tailer Ocado, the main aim of the Petnology Centre is "to create deeper [pet-owner] relationships and use technology effectively to make caring for animals easier". To do so, it's actively involving the UK's pet lovers to make key decisions, with fans being invited to vote for the invention they would most like to see brought to life.
Three concepts are currently being featured on Fetch's e-commerce site. Whatsyapp is a smart collar connected to an app that analyses your dog's movements and sounds to let you know what it's thinking. CatQuest is a projection-mapping technology that turns your house into a 3D interactive playground for your cat. Meanwhile, PetPounds is a set of wearable bands that measures the proximity between children and their animals, generating rewards such as vouchers according to the amount of time spent playing with their pet.
Voting ends on February 8 2016, with the winning idea being developed into a prototype for potential full development.
For more on how smart brands are engaging consumers in the creation process without denting critical brand integrity, see Complicit Commerce: Collective Impact in Beta Brandscapes – part of our Get Real Macro Trend. See also Brands as Enablers in Inconspicuous Consumption. For more on pet-focused technology, see Smart Food Bowl Tracks Pet Health and TailTalk: Mood-Monitoring Pet Tech.