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Fitness tracker for horses? Why not

Fitness tracker for horses? Why not

It provides a holistic solution covering animal well-being, stable management, and real-time behaviour monitoring.

By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Sun 6 Oct 2019, 11:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Oct 2019, 1:22 AM

Digital transformation only for businesses? Health tracking only for humans? Horses have something to neigh about that.
Microsoft, at Gitex Technology Week, is showcasing an artificial intelligence-driven platform dedicated to our equine friends, which monitors everything from performance and behaviour to health and predicting any issues before they even occur.
And there's no better place to carry out the Digital Horse project than in the UAE, a country whose culture is deeply engaged with horses.
It is unique for the UAE's horse heritage enrichment, as it provides a holistic solution covering animal well-being, stable management, and real-time behaviour monitoring.
"This is a different, different approach this year. It's not just about the digital transformation of businesses but how you also use those technologies to look after the welfare of animals and wildlife," Sayed Hashish, general manager of Microsoft UAE, told Khaleej Times at Gitex Technology Week. "We have several case studies around the world, and we chose [the UAE] to do case studies around horses and how we can seriously impact their welfare and health."
Longer lives for horses
The Digital Horse project is aimed at promoting the well-being of horses - and even increase their life span.
The initiative is part of Microsoft's overarching efforts such as AI for Good, AI for Earth, and AI for Cultural Heritage.
The drill is simple: A highly-sophisticated device is installed onto the saddle of the horse and, from that, it's off to the metrics races.
It creates an ecosystem that allows the 24/7 monitoring of animals - from health and nutrition to sleeping and training - powered by innovations such as machine learning, computer vision, advanced analytics, cognitive reasoning, the Internet of Things, and augmented reality.
"You'd be surprised that even though we know them as very powerful animals, they're still very fragile," Hashish added. "With this technology, you can greatly influence the health of the animal."
And nothing is left to chance: Critically important metrics - such as the horse's behaviour, the identification of potential diseases, and external stress parameters - are all measured.
Hashish added that the project will be carried out for other animals, too.

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