With most Americans already toting cellphones, AT&T Inc now wants to target their dogs.
A wireless dog collar set to hit the market this year is just one of the new devices the telephone company hopes will catch on with US consumers.
The collar could send text messages or emails to the owner of a pet when it strays outside a certain area, or the device could allow continuous tracking of the pet.
Other gadgets include a pill box that uses a wireless connection to remind people to take their medicine, e-readers, a device that tracks product pallets for shipping companies, and entertainment systems for people riding in cars.
When all these are connected to other devices or the Internet, they will connect using AT&T's network — meaning more revenue for the company. AT&T expects they will bring in about $1 billion in annual services revenue in about five years.
“We see opportunities in dogs, in pallets, in cars and how you take your pills,” said Ralph de la Vega, the head of AT&T's mobile business, at the CTIA annual wireless trade show.
The dog collar — developed by Berkeley, California-based Apisphere, may end up with a bigger market.