Archive for Sunday, August 24, 2003


August 24, 2003


Computer tracks cattle through retinal images

Ranchers have begun using a hand-held computer called an OptiReader to take retinal images of their herds. The digital pictures are stored in a database with information about the animal, such as color, weight or even genetic lineage.

Since the blood vessel patterns don't change over time, the pictures let OptiReader users track animals from birth to death.

Brian Bolton, a sales vice president for manufacturer Optibrand, said the device also could help consumers: As people demand more information about the meat they buy, the ability to know where and how cattle were raised and what they were fed will become more important.

If used on a wider scale, the OptiReader also could ease fears about disease in U.S. cattle herds.

The device originally was developed by ethics and business professors at Colorado State University as an alternative to hot-iron branding.

Above, Jim Doubet, a sales vice president for Optibrand, takes a retinal scan from a steer at the Colorado State University Research Feedlot in Fort Collins, Colo.

Motley Fool

Name that company

My founder invented a hunting shoe in 1911 and used the new U.S. Parcel Post service to sell them. In 1925, I began offering clothes and sporting gear. My fans have included Ernest Hemingway, Babe Ruth and Eleanor Roosevelt. I designed boots and equipment for troops in World War II and introduced a tote bag in 1944. By 1951, my store was open 24 hours a day, and I was mailing some 760,000 catalogs yearly. I got my own ZIP code in 1976. I'm known for outdoor gear and great customer service. You can't buy shares of me, because I'm a private company. Who am I?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.