This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

January 14, 2004

Doggie Cam

Childcare is a major issue for working parents. Since children are not usually on the same schedule as their parents, day care facilities fill an important need. Some childcare services are privately run; others are managed by corporations or franchises as stand-alone operations. Larger companies, hospitals, universities, and other organizations with a stronger need contract with providers like Bright Horizons, the acknowledged industry leader, to deliver childcare services in-house.

The more sophisticated facilities include cameras that monitor the children's activities. Using computer monitors on their desks, parents can observe their offspring to see that they are safe and behaving well. This capacity is perceived as an important employee benefit that provides a sense of personal security and peace of mind.

In several Herman Trend Alerts, we have talked about people who treat their pets as if they were children. Some people don't want children; pets meet their needs. Many childless pet owners care as much about their animals as they would about children, placing the pets in a care facility while they're at work or traveling. Some more sophisticated boarding kennels accept pets on a daily visit basis and some companies operate facilities that have come to be known as "doggie day care."

Some petcare facilities apply a technological solution adopted by childcare facilities, installing cameras so owners can check on their pets. Employees at work simply connect to the internet and watch their pets relaxing or cavorting. To learn more about this technology, you can visit the website of one of the providers at

Not interested in placing your pet in a healthy environment with other pets while you are at work? Alarm companies will install cameras in your home so you can watch your pet from work. Today's technology allows you to send signals to your home to turn lights on and off, turn on the oven to warm your dinner, and unlock doors. So now you can let your pet out remotely or send an admonishing voice message if Rover is misbehaving.

As pets gain importance, watch for more human-pet-life adjustments.

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