Losing a pet can be traumatising, especially if they just disappear. The CSIRO has announced a new collaboration with Ceres Tag to produce a smart collar for pets, which will track them in real-time.

The new collar, which the CSIRO are referring to as ‘The Companion Collar’, was developed from a project with Ceres Tag where they are developing smart ear tags for tracking livestock across expanses of open grazing and monitoring their activity and health.

The benefit of the Companion Collar is that it will use both Bluetooth and GPS for tracking, switching to GPS tracking when out of range of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The collar will sip power, requiring a monthly charge says Dr Phil Valencia, Senior Research Engineer at CSIRO’s Data61 pointing at mobile network based trackers which require weekly charging.

Using both BLE and GPS, pets can be tracked at both long, and short range, with updates sent to the owner’s phone via an app whenever their pet wanders outside of a boundary they’ve established.

The livestock tracking ear tag gives stock owners insights into the activity levels and health of their stock, something Lewis Frost, Ceres Tag Chief Operating Officer, thinks will transfer to the companion animal market. Frost said that ‘insights will lay the foundation for personalised pet treatment and medication, suggesting the collar will vastly improve the health and welfare of domestic pets‘.

There’s no timeline for a launch of the new collar, nor any pricing, though you’d expect it to be competitive. We’ll keep an eye on this one.