Forget lines of business, et cetera – it is people’s pets that are shaping the future of tech.

That’s according to Samsung, which has done a 2022 Pet Living Study that apparently shows pet owners are guided by their furbabies’ needs when buying devices as much as by those of their offspring.

Vendors looking to refine their products and services were told to look to Rover rather than the CTO, with animals being “influential in shaping home life and buying decisions.”

The Korean electronics giant noted that European household pets now outnumber children in the home, and said that as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, people are still spending on their animals.

Benjamin Braun, chief marketing officer for Samsung Europe, said: “More homes have pets than they do children in Europe. This is changing our purchase decisions when it comes to technology. That’s why at Samsung we develop products with both humans and pets in mind. We know that pets are beloved family members so we continue to develop technology that optimizes our homes for pets so they can lead happier, healthier lives.”

Some owners said they would reduce their spending on everything from necessities such as utilities (27 percent) and socializing with friends (40 percent) before cutting back their spend on their animal companions, the survey went on to say.

Of course this was mostly a hook for Samsung’s SmartThings for pets range, which it said “allows owners to create the optimal environment for their pets.” For example, if you’ve fixed a SmartTag to its collar “you can see where they are on a map, and play a tune for them to come home or you can switch on the TV or lights remotely.”

The SmartTag, which like Apple’s Airtag contains a BLE chipset, is a Bluetooth item finder that’s a part of the maker’s Galaxy range. And animals can’t sue you for surveilling them, although, to be fair, it’s probably of some use for those who’ve decided to keep a pet despite not having time to walk them or feed them at regularly scheduled intervals.

The company also claimed 40 percent of survey respondents agreed “having a pet impacted their decision-making when buying a new household appliance”, and 16 percent said they’d bought tech just for their pet.

It also claimed “loneliness” was a top concern for most pet owners as they returned to the office. Not their own, of course, they’re cheek by jowl with other commuters heading to a pod of solitude where they’ll conduct Zoom meetings from a shared workspace: it’s their pets’ loneliness that’s the issue. Two fifths of the survey’s respondents said they worry more about their pets now that pandemic restrictions have lifted.

Are they kitten us or do you think there’s something in this? Like your pet fish ending an email, we’ll ask: Let minnow what you think. ®

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