Sure, but does it play games? Or at least automatically update your status?   Leave a comment

 

I'm so embarrased. Metal studs are SO out this year.

For along time one way scientists have studied wild animals is by placing a special collar on them that tracks their movement and location. The scientists can see where the animal goes, how long it stays in one area, etc. This information is very useful in helping understand something of how the wildlife lives, but it’s very limited – as if you made a map of where you went all day, but didn’t list anything you did. Now, researchers are working on a new ‘Smart Collar’ with built in GPS (global positioning), accelerometers (that read pressure, force, vibration and area relationships), and other sophisticated measuring tools that not only track the animals, but record where, what, and how animals are living. Because everything’s compact, set into a fashionable neck collar, and transmits signals 24 hours a day the animals can go about their lives without being disturbed. Except for when the batteries need to be replaced, but that’s a different story.

Not every wild animal can have the Smart Collar, of course. (The lines at the Smart Collar store were probably too long). But the ultimate goal scientists are working toward is to create a dairy and timeline of each animal with a collar, that will help predict what entire groups, or populations of animals, might do. This will help us understand why and where the wildlife might be, what the animals needs to survive and be safe, and where it would be best to leave the wild animals alone and not allow people to start campsites or build a strip mall or allow domestic animals to live. In the future, maybe, each animal with a collar might have its own social-network page, so we can check in and see what he is she is doing today. But don’t be offended if they turn down your friend request. Living in the wilderness is a full-time job, and she’s probably out exploring or hunting. Maybe for some angry birds.

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