New Gadget Helps Dog Owners Check their Pets’ Health

December 29, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. pendant (n.) [pen-duh nt] – a small object hanging from a chain or cord
Example: The queen wore a diamond pendant with a gold necklace around her neck.

2. shiver (v.) [shiv-er] – to shake very lightly because of cold, fear or sickness
Example: The cold wind blew and the poor child shivered in his thin clothes. 

3. manually (adv.) [man-yoo-uh lee] – done by oneself, using physical human effort
Example Even with computers, workers still need to manually check the quality of each product. 

4. veterinarian (n.) [vet-er-uh-nair-ee-uh n, ve-truh-] – a doctor of animals; someone who cares for the health of animals
Example: The zoo veterinarian gave medicine to the sick lion.

5. assessment (n.) [uh-ses-muh nt] – the act of making a judgment or evaluation based on information about something or someone
Example: After all the tests were done, the patient waited for the doctor’s assessment.

Read the text below.

Fujitsu recently released a new pet management service and device called Wandant, which lets pet owners learn detailed information about how their pet dogs are feeling.

 “Wandant” is a combination of two words. “Wan” is from “wan wan,” which is used in Japan to refer to the sound dogs make while “dant” is taken from the English word “pendant,” which refers to the device worn by the pet dog around its neck.

The Wandant looks like a business card attached to a pet collar. It measures 4.6 cm by 2.84cm by 1.25cm and weighs around 16 grams. Inside the device, Fujitsu has placed technology similar to its award-winning K supercomputer.

The pendant can record the dog’s temperature, the amount of shivering experienced by the dog (its “buru-buru” score), and the dog’s number of steps. The data are automatically uploaded to the Internet where the dog’s owner can check them. The data appear as graphs on the pet’s personal profile page, showing the dog’s overall condition.

Pet owners can also manually input other kinds of information into their dog’s account. An owner trying to manage a dog’s weight, for example, can record how much food the dog ate.

Other activities, such as going for a walk or going to the veterinarian, can be recorded in a dog’s Wandant daily diary.

Veterinarians can even use the data on a dog’s profile page in their assessment of a dog’s health.

Pet owners can purchase the Wandant for 9,800 yen and a monthly fee of 420 yen after the first year.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Do you think gadgets like the Wandant pendant are good purchases for pet owners? Why or why not?
·         Can people still take good care of animals even without devices like Wandant? What makes you say so?

Discussion B

·         Should people have a limit on how much time and money they spend on their pets? Why or why not?
·         Name something expensive that you bought for your pet or for yourself. What made you decide to finally buy it?


December 29, 2012