This television channel is genuinely for the dogs

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This television channel is genuinely for the dogs

As Korean households rely more on pet dogs, especially the elderly and single-person households, information and communication technology (ICT) services for pets are emerging.

The technologies will help with health services for your pet dog, and keep it from being bored at home.

According to ICT industry insiders, cable broadcaster CJ Hello Vision plans to air Dog TV - TV programming for canines - next month.

Korea will be the third country to have such programming after the United States and Israel. The main idea is to reduce the stress of a dog left alone in a house or apartment, ease its boredom and help its behavioral development.

CJ Hello Vision said the TV programming was produced after scientists studied pets’ behavior in front of television sets for 400 hours. A TV channel for dogs has more than 1 million viewers of dogs in San Diego.

Consider this daily routine. A single office worker surnamed Kim leaves his apartment for work after tuning the TV to the channel for his pet dog. When it’s meal time, an automatic pet-feeding machine feeds the dog. When Kim wants to see his dog or simply say hi, he connects with the dog through a video chat through his smartphone.

All of this will be possible starting next month.

CJ Hello Vision plans to air U.S. Dog TV through satellite on the digital cable TV channel Hello TV. The monthly fee will be from 9,000 won ($8.50) to 10,000 won and the company expects around 70,000 to 80,000 households will subscribe.

“We tailored the picture for dogs, which can only see blues and yellows and cannot distinguish reds and greens,” said Hwang Jae-hyun, manager at CJ Hello Vision. “Also, we got rid of barking sounds and instead used relaxing music to keep pets from being provoked and help their emotional development.”

Open Brain Tech and Single Pet have introduced automatic pet-feeding machines controlled by Skype functions.

They automatically provide food or snacks at regular times, and when there is not enough food, they notify the dog owners. Video calls are also available, so dog owners can check their pets real-time through video chats.

Last month, KT introduced pet care services at the 9th RFID/IoT (Radio Frequency Identification/ Internet of Things) World Congress 2013.

It introduced Near Field Communications identification tags that contain health history information, which can be attached to pets.

According to KT’s economic research institute Digieco, 3.6 million households, or 17 percent of domestic households, are raising pets.

Last year, the pet market was around 2 trillion won, equal to the private education market for preschoolers or the e-learning market. And the pet market is expected to grow to about 6 trillion won in 2020.

“From such simple functions as monitoring the behavior of pets and feeding them, the services will evolve to enhancing emotional communication with pets,” said Kim Jae-pil, a research fellow at Digieco.

BY SOHN HAE-YONG [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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