Sheep-herding is a profession as ancient as civilisation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from a little tech. New heart-monitoring collars let sheep shoot their shepherd a text whenever they’re in danger.
The concept was proven in a recent experiment in Switzerland where about a dozen sheep were fitted with heart-monitoring collar and then harassed by a pair of muzzled wolfdogs. The stress of being harrased by a pair of muzzled wolfdogs got the sheeps’ hearts going enough that it could be used in an alert system that texts a shepherd when his sheep are starting to freak out.
Of course, there are older ways of keeping your herd safe from a wolf attack, like keeping them mostly in sight, or having a sheepdog. The texting collars could prove to be a cheaper, and simpler alternative for shepherds with small flocks. Besides that, guard dogs aren’t exactly popular in touristy areas. Any shepherds who opt for this method just better make sure their flock is grazing somewhere with good cell reception. [PhysOrg]