The Tech Equestrian

Welcome to the new normal. Technology is everywhere and effects everyone and everything. To keep up with the changes and information that impacts the equestrian world, I hope you will enjoy the stories, profiles and insights this blog features. In addition, stay connected on social by joining the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages!

TTE Advisory Board: What's Trending Now

TTE Advisory Board: What's Trending Now

‘What’s Trending Now’ is a common term in social media (think “Twitter”) to categorize our every day consumption of popular content. Technology is more comfortable changing than staying static – it clearly has always lived in that realm – the realm of ‘what’s next’ so we wanted to ask our Advisory Board out of the top 4 tech trends impacting the world we live in today; which one are they thinking about or are already using in their product or service? It’s an exciting time to see how tech will shape the horse world!

Top 4 Trends:

1. Voice: We've seen developments in voice technology like Siri, Alexa, and others, but they have often fallen short of human expectation – or are even usefulness in daily life. Voice is a medium that tends to be organic and free-flowing, something not easily translated into digital technology. As AI and computer learning programs grow in the next decade, expect voice interpreting and voice creating software to move into a more human-paralleled realm.

2. Predictive Analytics - Analytics are playing an increasingly important role in the growth and measurement of companies across the world. Not only can analytics tell you if you're successful in your market, but they can help you predict where the markets will move next.

3. Mobile Commerce has been edging into our lives for some time. People have become used to shopping on their phones via intuitive apps and mobile-friendly websites, but the ability to pay for products in bricks and mortar stores with Apple Pay and Google Wallet is set to change our world. 

4. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality: At this moment, the adoption rates for VR are still fairly limited for both businesses and individual users. Is VR heading in the right direction? The newest tech trends show that the AR market will surpass $130 billion by 2021, whereas the VR market will bring revenues as large as $75 billion in 2021. Already, both commercial headsets and software are being improved. The latest technological trends predict that the next 1-2 years will bring headsets offering higher quality displays, more sensors, Wi-Fi capabilities and more.

 (Trends gathered from "Entrepreneur Magazine", "Interesting Engineering" and "Tech Jury")

The NIGHTWATCH® smart halter™ is an all-natural leather breakaway halter with 2.1 ounces of embedded sensor technology that monitors your horse and alerts you to early signs of equine distress (e.g., colic, being cast, foaling) so you can get to them sooner when they need you most. So, how does this halter determine if your horse is in distress? The answer lies in its proprietary AI (artificial intelligence) stack, which is uniquely executed on the edge (i.e., on the device versus in the cloud). 

The AI stack of NIGHTWATCH® leverages machine learning and predictive analytics to evaluate real-time and historical data (i.e., biometrics and behavior) to predict future outcomes (i.e., distress events) before they occur. However, this smart halter can best determine possible distress after an initial learning period of 3 weeks when it studies and models your horse’s normal baseline biometrics and unique behaviors. As your horse continues to wear their smart halter though, the more robust and sensitive NIGHTWATCH becomes to predict future distress events. 

In the not so distant future, the company behind NIGHTWATCH smart halter, Protequus®, will undertake a large-scale Big Data mining initiative to investigate and uncover patterns, trends, and associations between biometric and behavior inputs with health outcomes data on horses across breeds, disciplines, and geographies as collected by NIGHTWATCH®. The ramifications of these findings are enormous, and the advent of NIGHTWATCH® has the potential to significantly impact how insurance companies assess risk, how researchers design comparative studies, and how veterinarian practice medicine.

We have recently started to investigate adding voice activation to Stable Secretary.  It's tricky, though, because we (obviously) don't want to sacrifice accuracy for convenience, and our mobile app forms already make it easy to enter as much or as little info about a horse or record as users want. That said, we see how much value we could add by providing a voice-activated data entry option, especially for straightforward records like "Open Stable Secretary. Add vaccination record for all horses for Today. Select EEE vaccination type. Enter notes: Booster. Save." We are starting to look into the best way to achieve that for our users. 

Including voice integrations with Alexa/Siri/Google with the Equo app is the main challenge I see, this will facilitate the way our customers request the trips, and interact with our tool without having to interact with the phone. For me, voice integration is like having a personal assistant; my only concern is the problems I have dealing with my accent!

As technology progresses and as we discussed earlier in this forum, I get quite fascinated by anything related to predictive analytics, AI and machine learning. I believe this is already happening now and it will be incorporated more and more in the upcoming products. In the case of Ekinox One EMS Suit it could be very helpful to use predictive analytics to analyze data of the users such as the types of programs they are using, the time spent for each session, the muscles groups they selected for each session, the intensity and try to find patterns that will eventually recommend the user the optimum way to use the product at any given moment in time. 

Cash is no longer king, but I see evidence that credit/debit cards are going by the wayside too. People are shopping online for more than just books and shoes, including groceries to be delivered, fast-food pick up, and Amazon same day delivery. When people do go to the store, they are using their phone to pay rather than carry a wallet or purse around.  

HorseLinc was built to help the horse industry accomplish the same by securely storing your payment information (whether credit/debit card, Apple Pay, or ACH) and being able to pay all of your service providers from one app on your phone at any time. This helps the service providers as well to get paid more timely while helping both sides maintain better records of all of their activity in a central location. Ultimately this saves everyone time to enjoy their horses more!

TTE Advisory Board - Tips on Doing your Horse Tech Homework

TTE Advisory Board - Tips on Doing your Horse Tech Homework