'Whistle' Doggie Fitness Tracker Proves That Technology Has Jumped the Shark
Despite being man's best friend, dogs are oftentimes inscrutable. Are they hungry? Thirsty? Do they need to go outside, or are they whining at the door because they want to get into a fight with a skunk that has wandered into the yard? And what do they do all day while we're gone? To answer vital questions such as these, technology has created the Whistle Activity Monitor, which more or less proves that human beings now expect information on absolutely everything.
Whistle, an activity tracker that attaches to a dog's collar, monitors everything from his location to his eating habits to who he might be interacting with, and gives owners the highlights via a handy-dandy smartphone app. Owners can set goals for daily activity and track the progress, log in what the dog eats and how much, and even capture photos to share with other Whistle users. Because everything needs a hint of social media nowadays.
So is this the most genius idea ever or definitive proof that technology has officially become ridiculous? Well, possibly both. I mean, the idea that we need an activity tracker for man's best friend is a little ridiculous when you think about it. Dogs have been getting by for millennia without any fancy devices attached to their collars. Then again, living in a world where you can look at satellite photos of Hong Kong with just a few clicks, or find out who Taylor Swift's new best friend is just by typing three words into Google, I suppose it is a little strange that you could be sitting at work with no idea what your dog is doing. This is the information age, after all.
And, since it is the information age, it's unsurprising that as The Daily Dot points out, most people are also fairly enthralled by data, especially data about ourselves. Whistle, they point out, "taps into a larger trend," one in which people want as much data about their own lives as possible. From fitness trackers to high-tech baby monitors, we've gone way beyond those old-fashioned stepometers now. In fact, we have stuff that's more high tech than that just for our dogs.
Whistle comes with a bit of a price tag — $129.95 — but I imagine that there are plenty of dog lovers who will gladly pay that price to know exactly what goes on in the life of their canine companion. But if you're a cat person, don't feel left out; they're developing a version of Whistle for the felines, too. Though whether or not cats will allow us to actually monitor them or will instead find a way to thwart our surveillance remains to be seen.