By Tom Mustin
DENVER (CBS4)– Fitness trackers are a multi-million-dollar business. Now a Colorado entrepreneur is “milking” the fitness craze to include cows.
Melissa Brandao is on the cutting edge when it comes to livestock fitness trackers.
“They are like a fit bit for cows,” she told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
Brandao’s startup company HerdDogg, based out of Longmont, boasts “smart tags for smart cows.” The removable tags are placed in the animal’s ear. They track steps and a lot more.
“It collects biometric data,” said Brandao. “It’s a little chip with a battery. All this work is proprietary. It’s all our work.”
Biometric data means the health and wellness of the animal. The tags combine sensors and smart radio technology to deliver valuable information about the animal to a receiver or cell phone up to 30 feet away.
“Is the animal eating? About to give birth? Is the animal happy?” said Brandao.
Animals often hide their illnesses for days. Brandao says the tags can detect problems right away. They’ll be placed on Longhorns at the National Western Stock Show for a test run. The information will be posted directly to Twitter.
“The animals themselves are really tweeting,” said Brandao.
“Are the Longhorns on Facebook too?” asked Mustin.
Brando laughed and replied, “They’re not quite posting that they’ve checked into a restaurant yet, but they can post that they checked into a water trough. So I don’t think we’re far off really.”
Brandao got the idea for HerdDogg after talking with ranchers. She says they complained about having to get right next to the often skittish animal, to check out its health. With two billion livestock worldwide, Brandao says the demand is there, and that’s no bull.
“We see a tremendous potential for making this technology available and really helping the industry in general.”
You can see the fitness trackers in action at the National Western Stock Show. It kicks off this Saturday and runs through Jan. 22.