Cow fitbit trials underway

New low-power long-life 'fitbit' tag being trialled

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The long-life digital tag will send the individual animal's health data to a smartphone or computer.

The long-life digital tag will send the individual animal's health data to a smartphone or computer.

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A digital ear tag dubbed the 'cow Fitbit' has been successfully trialled in Queensland as it nears the marketplace.

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A digital ear tag dubbed the 'cow Fitbit' has been successfully trialled in Queensland as it nears the marketplace.

The long-life digital tag uses GPS to track individual cattle by sending the animal's health, temperature, pulse rate by feeding data directly to a smartphone or computer.

The ear tag is expected to hit the market in 2020 after a successful trial with a grazier in Townsville and James Cook University, Ceres Tag and CSIRO.

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The goal is to develop an ultra-low power ear tag, which lasts as long as the animal does.

"Our aim is to develop a smart tag solution that would potentially last the lifetime of the animal and require less battery life, " Professor Ian Atkinson said.

The ongoing trial is testing the reliability of the tags in Australia's harsh conditions.

Ceres Tag chief executive David Smith said if successful, the tag could be expanded to red meat, dairy, wool and pork.

The company has been forced to turn away hundreds of graziers wanting to trial the product.

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