If you've read the news lately, you know things still aren't going great for United Airlines. Just a couple weeks ago, a French Bulldog puppy died on a flight from Houston to New York after its owner was forced by a flight attendant to place it in an overhead bin. Though the tragic accident isn't something that happens every day, it does raises a lot of red flags when it comes to traveling with pets.
Let's make one thing clear: Airlines do have to meet certain standards when it comes to live animal transportation — the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) monitors airlines’ performance and the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Live Animal Regulations are enforced by local governments — but added peace of mind never hurts.
That's where tech company Unisys comes in clutch. Last month, at the IATA's World Cargo Symposium, they unveiled their new new Digi-Pet system which will help you breathe a little easier when Fido is in tow.
According to the company's site, Digi-Pet "leverages artificial intelligence, IoT (Internet of Things) sensors and an intuitive mobile app" to ensure safe pet transport by monitoring environmental conditions like temperature, oxygen levels, humidity, and light when they're flying in cargo. Should any metric determine the pet is distressed or in need of immediate attention, both the owner and airline staff is automatically alerted.
With a smartphone or tablet, pet owners can also utilize the company's subscription-based mobile app to check in on their fur babies via live video streaming, photo, and voice exchanges.
Add this to the list of things we didn't know we *definitely* need.