Those nifty Fuelbands and activity trackers can measure pretty much anything you do and even knows when you’re doing the horizontal-mambo. So why not use similar technology to try and understand mysterious animals like the Polar Bear. That makes so much sense! And even better, why not add a GoPro camera to see what life is like for these majestic beasts.
It starts with Oregon Zoo polar bear Tasul. Tasul is outfitted with a collar that packs an accelerometer to measure its movements. Tasul will also be recorded while wearing the collar so researchers at the USGS can corroborate the movements of the accelerometer with Tasul’s actual movements. Basically, so they can create a digital footprint for typical polar bear behaviour. So many numbers for hunting fish, so little movement for sleeping and so on. It’s pretty much how Nike created the Fuelband, they studied natural movements to give each sort of exercise a number.
Once the signals are calibrated, similar collars will be placed on free-roaming bears in the Arctic, allowing researchers to monitor the bears’ behaviour without having to observe them directly. The collar study also allowed the Oregon Zoo to place a GoPro Hero camera on Tasul for a bear’s-eye view.
Mystery solved. Sort of. [Oregon Zoo]