Scientists in Australia have devised a new fitness tracker for cows.
CSIRO is working with agricultural startup Ceres Tag to make a smart ear tag for cows, the Australian science agency said Tuesday. The tag was successfully trialled on 100 cattle at its research station in Queensland, it added.
The device is compared to fitness trackers because it provides similar data to what we get with smart watches, according to CSIRO.
Specifically, the GPS-enabled tags can help farmers to track the location of their herds — such as where they graze and whether one has escaped or been stolen. The tags are also fitted with accelerometers, so they can notify farmers when unusual activity is detected.
It’s not the first time scientists have developed smart wearables for cows. Japanese scientists made a smart shirt for the animals last year to help them overcome the summer hear so they can keep producing milk. Earlier, researchers in the UK developed a smart collar that would notify farmers when it detects a cow lowering its head — which could indicate it’s sick — or when it’s coming into heat.
In its statement, CSIRO expressed hopes for its smart ear tag to become the world’s first to be accredited for ‘provenance to international traceability standards.’
It’s also looking to build a ‘smaller and lighter’ version of the tag and add other features such as a temperature sensor in future versions.