Wearable technology is on the rise. I’ve read a number of articles discussing the growing importance of wearable tech with predictions such as “Why Wearable Tech Will Be As Big As the Smartphone” as well as compilation posts that talk about tech advancements and trends in 2013 or 2014. It amuses me and can’t help but notice how NOT NEW wearable tech is for wildlife. It’s been a vital way (although rightfully questioned) that we’ve learned about a number of species since the mid 1960’s. By attaching a device that sends signals to a transmitter, we’ve been monitoring the behaviors of hundreds of species and learned a great deal from the research. There are few basic techniques that we employ to track wildlife. This particular post describes VHF radios in a very helpful manner. Perhaps with the advance of wearable technology we can make it less invasive to our wildlife tracking efforts.
A number of years ago, I was involved in a project that went about attaching “wearable tech” to Townsend’s big-eared bats and we used radio telemetry to monitor their nightly behavior. Luckily it doesn’t take this much technology to monitor the activity on my Nike sport’s watch, but you get the idea. Pictured below is the sweet set up I had to track activity on my radio transmitter.
So just remember.
Wearable technology is not new for wildlife. And thank goodness it isn’t.
While I know the tech we force wildlife to wear isn’t as complex as the computers we’re strapping to ourselves, you know what I’m talking about. It’s funny.