The equine industry is a big money industry and various technologies compete for their share of the pie. While horse racing sports are at the top as the main attraction, a lot goes on in the background in managing horse health and performance. Concerns about wild horses are also involved in the equine world.
We look at the top 6 technologies that are transforming the equine world;
1) Tracking and Data Manipulation Technologies: Sensors with Augmented Reality and IoT
The game-changing effect of technologies in horse racing could be conveniently traced back to Longrines’ 1878, 142 years ago. Today the same company also promises to offer new tech in the game.
In April 2015, Herald Sun Australia reported that “Australian Turf Club chief executive Darren Pearce said the Swiss watchmaker’s technology would allow more people to analyze the running of the race in real-time and then be able to (carry out) analysis (on) the performances of horses for future form assessment.”
GMax Technologies Limited promises comprehensive technologies in monitoring and collecting data on horse competitive performance and welfare. With present technologies, it is now possible to make your own horse TV show event if you ask companies like GMax to make that happen for you.
2) Virtual Reality
VR technology has been proven to be useful for simulating surgeries to minimize risks and similar kinds of situations. However, experience-market designers at Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association say you can soon have the immersion, with visuals and feel of an actual horse race. This can be achieved by a VR headset with a mechanical horse, called “Equicizer”.
3) Artificial Intelligence
AI application in any field at all was only going to be a matter of time until it happens. The advantage AI brings in discovering patterns of data that would be ordinarily difficult for humans to find out. This technology, using data from other tools such as the sensors and trackers, can help trainers to make informed decisions on best training routines, and other performance indicators.
Potentially this would be used to monitor the health of the horse in ways that were not possible in the past.
4) 3D Printing
Horseshoes offer protection against disease and injuries. CSIROscientists made the first custom horseshoe called ‘titanium prints’, modelled by using a handheld 3D scanning of the horse hooves and then 3D printed from titanium material. The effectiveness of these 3D printing machines these days is incredible, with pretty fast production rates as well.
According to the CSIRO news, “these titanium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a traditional aluminium shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds.”
This means 3D printing will soon be pushing the limits in the horse racing sports. Another possibility is 3D printed prosthetics for fixing the horse’s broken bones.
5) Robotic aided Medical Imaging for Horses
Incredible results of different types of imaging can be achieved by the different Equimagine robotic scanners. The Equine Panoramic Scanning is claimed to scan the whole body of the horse within a few minutes while standing.
Images of very high qualities are then produced which are used by the vet to administer treatments to her patient.
Drones have been applied in the wild to track and study wild horses. These horses don’t mind scientists collecting data on them but they get nervous because of the drone’s high pitched humming noise.
According to reports in the equine magazine, while drones present a unique opportunity to capture the beauty of the equine life, it could be dangerous for the subjects.
The picture quality that drones provide makes it desirable for the various aspects of the equine business, especially in selling. However, owners and sports management need to draw a line between drones’ applications in line with safety concerns.
It would not be surprising to see safer drones being made for the horses soon.