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Flying with your pet? Now, you can keep tabs on her

Ashwini Phadnis | Updated on May 28, 2018 Published on May 25, 2018

Unisys’ Digi-Pet service keeps pets and their owners in touch high up in the skies

Fancy taking your pet on a holiday, being able to talk to it and monitor its health as it flies with you? Well, it’s possible now, thanks to Unisys Corporation’s Digi-Pet service, part of its larger Digistics Suite.

Digi-Pet uses the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology via smart sensors attached to the pet’s kennel or carry-case to monitor and transmit key parameters such as temperature, oxygen level, vibration and light as the pet travels in a climate-controlled section of the cargo hold. If any of these factors require attention, the pet owner and staff are informed automatically. There is also live video streaming, photos or voice exchanges on subscription, so the pet owner can see and talk to the pet via an app on his/her smartphone or tablet while flying.

Win-win

Pawan Kumar, with Bengaluru’s Cessna Lifeline Veterinary Hospital, explains why he thinks it’s an excellent idea. “When a pet is suddenly separated from his owner and is put in a crate and in the cargo area while flying, it is difficult for the pet in the restricted area as he cannot see people or the environment around him, which leads to anxiety.”

Kumar believes that this facility will help pet owners deal with their own stress as well by being able to monitor, during a flight, whether the pet is all right. Amitabha Saxena, Partner at Woofyz Pet Services Pvt Ltd, also feels the interesting product would address the needs of a niche segment of pet parents. It would spur more people to fly with their pets if they could monitor their well-being, he says. Woofyz is a start-up in animal healthcare which aims at using smart technology.

 

 

While figures for how many Indians travel with pets are difficult to find, in the US, over 2 million live pets and other animals are transported annually. India is the sixth largest pet dog market in the world with over 15 million pet dogs. And presently, about 20 global carriers, including Indian ones, subscribe to Digistics. These airlines transport more than 1,80,000 animals annually. Dheeraj Kohli, Unisys’ Vice-President and Global Head (Travel and Transportation), says in an email interview that the company is looking to expand its pet services. The current focus is North America and Asia regions.

Besides the anxiety of having a pet travelling separately, pet owners are often stressed even preparing for the travel as they get details on whether they have IATA-compliant pet carriers and other health certificates. This is in addition to figuring out the right airline, route, etc.

However, Digi-Pet allows families to choose the flight, the route and flight timings themselves through the mobile app, one more step to ease the anxiety for both pet and owner.

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Published on May 25, 2018
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