A global information technology company called Unisys has big ideas about what the future of flying with pets should look like. Their newly introduced app, Digi-Pet, enables users to track, monitor, and even interact with their animals while they’re crossing oceans and moving over state lines. For families traveling with large dogs and other animals too big to fly in cabin, the only option is to put their pet in a crate and hand them over to an airline employee. They’re transported in the cargo section of the plane, and it’s a stressful situation for both pet and human.
Digi-Pet is the technology that’s trying to eliminate the worry that happens between drop-off and the time the dog reaches their final destination. Designed for smart phones and tablets, the app works in concert with a “smart sensor” that is attached to an animal’s kennel. The sensor with GPS tracker monitors everything including temperature, oxygen level, light, and vibration in the cargo area. It then transmits the information to the app in real time. All users need to do is check their app for updated reports about where their pet is located and what kind of conditions they’re currently experiencing.
A feature of the app also allows for emergency alerts that inform the pet owner when something is wrong or an action needs to be taken. For an extra fee, there’s even the opportunity to see a live video stream of the pet and to talk to the animal through a speaker. The possibility of a beloved pet being hurt, lost, or even killed during transport with an airline is something all pet owners that choose to fly their animals worry about. Recent stories including a potentially record-breaking rabbit that died on a United flight from London to Chicago and a dog lost at the Los Angeles International Airport don’t do anything to calm the nerves. But with Digi-Pet, animal owners will be able to keep tabs on their precious cargo every step of the way.
Digi-Pet made its debut February 20 in Mumbai. So far, Air India and a low-cost airline called SpiceJet are on board, and the company is expecting other airlines to also offer the service. It will most likely come at an extra fee, but early signs show peace of mind during an animal’s flight is worth the cost. The minds behind Digi-Pet encourage pet owners who are interested in utilizing the app to call the airline passenger division of the airport they wish to depart from to find out if it’s available.
Featured image via Flickr/Dane County Regional Air