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pet tech headerThere is no doubt that we are a nation of pet lovers.  Domesticated animals of all types and sizes are spoilt rotten by their indulgent owners.

Dogs and cats are dressed up in designer finery and visit beauty salons.  Guinea pigs and rabbits live in gilded palaces compared to the small, draughty hutches they were consigned to in years gone by.  Even hamsters and gerbils have had their cages transformed with colourful plastic tubes and sci-fi style houses.

pet tech icons

They may already enjoy a pampered lifestyle but now, just like humans, pets are caught up in a furious tech race.  Don’t get me wrong.  Labradors haven’t given up chasing rabbits in favour of sitting in coffee shops and tapping away on a laptop.  But pet tech is big business and those same owners, who once splashed out on doggy clothes and diamante cat collars, are now spending large on the latest gadgets for their favourite hirsute companions.pet tech beagle

All of which means developers and inventors are scrambling to produce products that will capture the hearts and wallets of pet owners.  Naturally enough most of the new tech is aimed at dogs and cats but here I’ve rounded up the seven most useful, interesting and downright bizarre pieces of pet tech that I could find.

 

Petcube petcube pet tech

There can’t be a pet owner anywhere that hasn’t wondered what their dog, cat or gerbil gets up to when they are left alone in the house.  Often the chewed sofa, broken vase or scratched door gives us a clue when we return home but Petcube lets us keep an eye on our pets no matter where we are.

 

A compact aluminium unit houses a 138º wide angle camera which streams HD video to a smartphone keeping you connected with your pet even if you are at work or dining out.  But Petcube is more than just a camera.  It includes a two-way microphone and speaker so you can communicate with your dog; “Fido – stop eating the sofa”.  There is also a programmable laser light that dogs and cats will love chasing for remote play sessions.

 

ScoopFreepet tech litter box

They may be very cute and the stars of a million and one YouTube videos but cats are messy little…..felines.  Yes, they are good enough to use a litter tray (most of the time) but they are disgusting, smelly and horrible to clean (the tray, not the cat).  But, fear not kitty lovers, help is at hand.  ScoopFree is a self-cleaning litter box and quite possibly Nirvana for cat owners.  Simply load it up with litter and ScoopFree automatically sweeps and locks away waste and banishes odour.  What’s not to like?

 

Voycevoyce pet tech

Many of us wear fitness bands or smartwatches and compulsively track our steps, heart rate and calories expanded.  Voyce does the same thing for your dog.  The band fits comfortably around the neck of any size canine and does everything a human’s Fitbit or Jawbone can do.  As well as measuring metrics such as distance travelled and calories burned it will also monitor vital signs and even help your vet identify heart and respiratory problems earlier than would otherwise be possible.

 

Feed and Go pet tech feeder

When pets are left on their own they need to be fed.  And that of course is a problem.  Leave a day’s food out for a dog and it will be snaffled before you are out of the door.  But you can’t just leave Rover a tin opener with strict instructions not to eat until lunch time. So what’s the answer?  Glad you asked.

Introducing the Feed and Go automatic pet feeder. Able to hold up to six cups of wet or dry food the device can be programmed from a smartphone or tablet to feed your dog, cat or partner at scheduled times or for one off meals.  There is even a voice recorder so you can leave a message for your pet and a built in camera for keeping an eye on your mutt or puss while they eat.

 

The Woofer

Enjoy listening to music while you are out walking or running?  Why not let your dog take the strain and share your music with you and everyone else for that matter?  Believe it or not The Woofer is a dog coat with two built in 30-watt speakers.  There is even a holder for your MP3 player or smartphone.  Of course, blasting hip hop from your dog’s hindquarters will probably make you the most unpopular person in the park, but it will elevate Fido’s street cred no end.  Still, I’m not convinced we will see this on the best sellers list anytime soon.

 

SHRUshru pet tech

Cats are mischievous little tykes who enjoy nothing more than batting a ball around or flicking their paws at bits of plastic on a string.  But why not introduce some variety into little Tibbles playtime?  SHRU is an interactive toy that will keep your cat entertained for hours on end.

Essentially a hard plastic egg with a tail SHRU is better than it sounds.  Charged by USB the device will interact with the cat by buzzing around all over the place and entertaining kitty with its various play modes and sounds.

 

No More Woof pet tech no more woof

Dog owners talk to their pets.  The dog talks back by offering his paw, pulling adorable facial expressions and nudging his feed bowl with his nose.  But what if your pooch could really jabber?  And what if you didn’t need to be Doctor Doolittle to understand him?  Now it’s really happening.  No More Woof translates your dog’s thoughts into English (of course it does).

You, like I, may be sceptical, and who wouldn’t be?  But the inventors of the device claim it can interpret an animal’s brain waves before outputting them as words through a loudspeaker.  No More Woof looks like some sort of medieval torture device and its whole premise is quite frankly preposterous.  No doubt they will sell thousands.

 

 

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Token old guy in the office and lifelong Hull City fan with all the psychological issues that brings. To relax I enjoy walking my two Labradors, as well as running and cycling.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a bit lo-tech but we’ve been using one of these for years: http://www.com-spec.com/thecatlocator/

    We had a cat, he liked to roam. A lot. Even after he got “the snip”, eg. as soon as we adopted him, he liked to explore. After one particular incident where he disappeared for 3 weeks straight, we started to look into pet locating devices. They’re mostly crap but some of the more fancy ones, based on falcony radio detectors were pretty good. The one we ended up with, the Com Spec Cat Locator, uses a tiny radio emitter with its aerial sewn into a quick-release collar. The hand-held receiver has collapsible Yagi antenna and can detect the cat several hundred metres away… even if he’s up a tree hiding from a cat half his size who is “bullying” him (this has happened several times, it turns out he’s a wuss – very friendly but also doesn’t really stand up for himself…)

    Thing is – it’s pretty old technology – no GPS or chips or anything, just old fashioned radio. Still, it works…

  2. Craig, I appreciate that lots of tech is aimed at the most common household pets such as cats and dogs, however I am thoroughly dissapointed about the lack on mention of stablehold tech that is gripping the equestrian world. I understand that sometimes horses are not classes at “pets”, as they live predominantly on farms and not inside the house, however the love their owners have for their equine friends must place them under the cloak subject which this article addresses.

    Firstly, the Galloping3G is a cutting edge invention that plots trotting trails for horses and ponies before they set out on their adventures. By using SatNav riders and runners alike need not worry about getting lost, as the device uses past trek routes to judge horses galloping patterns, choosing new and interesting routes each time.

    Secondly, the HSC (Abbreviation for Horse Shoe Chooser) automatically chooses and changes your horse or ponies shoes for you depending on weather, season, and changing fashions so their owners don’t have to. The horse/pony simply places it’s hoof inside the comfortable slot, and the gadget takes off the old, worn show and replaces it with brand spanking new footware ready for the day. Make sure your horse keeps up with trends, whilst retaining sustainable and practical comfort all year round.

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