The CSIRO has partnered with agricultural startup Ceres Tag to develop what is basically a wearable for livestock. Maybe cows will jump over the moon after all? If you don't like that I could also make a pun about 'moovement'.
I'm so sorry.
Dumb jokes aside, the tracker actually sounds extremely cool and useful. It's a smart ear tag that is designed to not only keep tabs on livestock, but tell what they're up to. The device is being likened to a fitness tracker is because it actually produces similar data to smart watches.
Not only will this be helpful for animals that have gotten lost or have been stolen - but it will even be able to clock odd movements so farmers will be able to tell if the cow is sick or giving birth. The tag uses on-board accelerometers to then push out alerts to the farmer when these irregular movements take place.
I'm sure these push notifications are far less judgey than my ones, which love to remind me that I haven't walked enough steps or consumed enough water every day of my life.
The tags are supposed to improve the lifespan of the cattle, as well as last for the animals' entire life. The CSIRO is hoping that it will be the first smart ear tag that is accredited for provenance to international traceability standards.
"Ceres Tag gives greater transparency over grazing management, allowing farmers to locate and monitor their animals to reduce risk and operating costs, improve efficiency and assist with traceability," said David Smith, CEO of Ceres Tag.
“The tag is GPS-enabled, allowing farmers to track the location of individual animals remotely, via Internet of Things (IoT) capability," he added.
The CSIRO has also stated that future versions of the tag will be lighter and include a temperature sensor.
So far the smart ear tag has been trialed on 100 cows at a CSIRO research station in Queensland and has reportedly been a success. Hopefully this technology and others like it will be used en masse as a way to aid farmers - and save them time and money.
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