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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 that this blog will feature. In addition, stay connected on social by joining my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages!

HOOFSTEP: Advancing your Horse’s Health through AI

HOOFSTEP: Advancing your Horse’s Health through AI

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As equestrians, we tend to have many unanswered questions about our equines – from their fitness level to nutrition to recovery time after an ailment or injury. But thanks to Hoofstep, a horse tech startup based in Sweden, their new wearable is designed to be your virtual veterinarian to bring you answers you never thought possible.

“We consider ourselves a knowledge company where the wearable is the carrier of the concept – the concept being centered on giving the horse a voice through technology,” said Karl Forssman, Co-Founder of Hoofstep.

Placement Matters
Hoofstep is a wearable, consisting of a unit for the horse that will sit in a headgear, specially made in softshell fabric, with characteristics and design for the comfort of the horse. Another accompanying device is the base unit. This unit is a hub for communication between horses (multiple) and the cloud where all the storage takes places. The base unit also has the function as a wireless charger. “The forehead placement allows for accurate tracking of movements, and is the best point for tracking changes in eating and drinking, which are the prime indicators if the horse starts to feel worse,” cited Forssman. 

The headgear wearable is specially made in softshell fabric, with characteristics and design for the comfort of the horse.

The headgear wearable is specially made in softshell fabric, with characteristics and design for the comfort of the horse.

Hoofstep recommend the unit be worn at all times, except during your ride (an ideal time for charging the wearable). However should you have other routines it can perfectly fit under the bridle and you can track your training as well.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) drives the core intelligence of the product. “Our AI models can give early indications of colic, lameness, laminitis, foaling and combined with our GPS feature, it becomes a powerful tool for arming owners with health and safety indicators synched to your app or computer,” explained Forssman. Our models can track most behavior, and it will take 2-3 weeks for our product to get used to the normal behavior of a unique horse. After that time, all changes in behavior will trigger alerts in your phone.

Tracking your horses from the app - makes it so easy to monitor health and safety.

Tracking your horses from the app - makes it so easy to monitor health and safety.

The interactive app is designed to be the carrier of information. “You will be able to see an animation of your horse mimicking the movements in the right position in real-time.” An array of activity statistics will be in the palm of your hand. The app will be free and in the near future it will be released without wearable purchase. “There will be many interesting options in the app even without the hardware,” shared Forssman. 

A Global Collaboration
The product has been in development for many years and is currently in the BETA test stage. “We are gearing up to launch in February,” said Forssman. “It is also important to note that the whole concept has been developed in cooperation with veterinarians, clinics and behavioral scientists from all over the world,” he added. In addition, the inspiration of the movements of our avatars stem from Sue McDonnell’s book the The Equid Ethogram: A Practical Field Guide to Horse Behavior.

One of the main concepts of the product is to help shorten the time between indication and action, thereby reducing time suffering and cost of treatment. “One of the long term goals for Hoofstep is to create the largest database on equine behavior to allow scientists from around the world to come up with new ways of benefiting our horses well-being.”

“This is going to be revolutionary for the horse lovers who want to take behavior analyses to the next level as well as learning about the horses secret life when no one is around,” summarized Forssman.

 

Headquarters: Helsingborg, Sweden

Website: hoofstep.com
Facebook: @hoofstep
Instagram: hoofstep

 

 

 

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