Connected gizmos for dogs are having a moment, thanks to the likes of FitBark and other canine activity trackers. But here’s a connected gadget designed for dog owners to interact with their pet, rather than keep tabs on its health. Indeed, overuse of the PetziConnect’s treat dispenser feature may require some kind of health monitoring tech so push the treat button with caution.
Fortunately PetizConnect has other functions, that do not rely on treats to make pet and pet owner happy. Specifically it includes a wireless HD camera and a microphone so that pet owners can remotely summon Fido from his afternoon snooze and then watch as he cocks his head quizzically, wondering why his master’s voice is coming out of a box plugged in the wall.
As well as letting pet owners remotely view and coo at their dogs, and reward interest in a disembodied voice with the occasional tangible treat — dispensed via a button in the Android or iOS app or via a web client — the PetziConnect lets them take photos and record video. Which does, incidentally, beg the question how secure are Petzila’s systems — since once the device is up and running you will have a wireless, Internet-connected eye peeking into your home. Still, it’s designed to be plugged in at dog height so its view of any larger home occupants is probably going to be pretty partial. (Uhh, unless they happen to be rolling around on the floor nearby…)
Petzila was seeking $30,000 via Indiegogo to get the first batch of its connected dog-treating gizmo manufactured but has already passed that goal, with 40 days still left to run on its crowdfunding campaign. PetziConnects — which it says are rugged enough to deal with being mauled by a frenzied Fido hoping to get more treats/liberate its owner from inside the box — are due to ship to backers in December. The current lowest price-tag for crowdbackers wanting to bag a device is $99.
Update: Here’s what a Petzila spokesman had to say on the security point: “PetziConnect is built upon a 128-/256-bit encrypted, proprietary transport layer that blanket secures our three Petzila modules — Portal (mobile or web), Cloud, PetziConnect. In layman’s terms, we built the system bottoms-up to be end-to-end bullet proof secure.”