What technology is your pet shopping for?


As the fawning owner of a 5-year-old Australian Labradoodle I’ve become interested in what kind of technology is available to the canine (or feline) demographic — and I’ve tried to view this as the pet being the consumer of the technology.

So, have we reached a point where Bowser can have his own Alexa skills channel? Well, in fact ,we have!

In the skills apps Woof! And Meow!, a virtual dog or cat “lives” inside your Amazon Echo. You can chat with the virtual pet using dog sounds and cat sounds. The virtual dog or cat will respond in kind and your pet can take part in the “conversation” or simply continuously bark at the invisible intruder.

Meanwhile, Furbo — a company “on a mission to improve the life of all dogs and dog parents through innovation” — has launched Amazon Alexa skills developed to “help you train your dog and decrease separation anxiety.”  This, when coupled with the Furbo Dog Camera, enables you to watch your pet and command the camera device to literally throw your pet a treat using your mobile device.

Your pet might now be the benefactor of advances in robotics as well. Pebby has introduced a smart robotic pet sitter system, which allows owners to monitor, interact with and entertain their pets anytime, anywhere in the world.  The product combines a smart collar with their patented Wi-Fi controlled “Smart ball” that follows pets around. The owner can view the happenings through a fisheye lens that sends a feed back to your remote device.

For the canine or feline audiophile we have Pet Tunes. This is a mobile Bluetooth speaker, pre-loaded with 90 minutes of specially curated acoustic music to calm your dog. Given that different animals are soothed by very different music and colors, the company has developed pet-specific playlists that also cater to the tastes of cats, horses and birds.

We can now witness the intersection of drone technology with every cat owners attempt to actually see some happiness in their faces.  ProFlight Panthera – Cat Toy Drone removes the effort of an owner having to dangle a ribbon or wiggle a laser pointer to entertain Felix.

And finally, it was only a matter of time until your pets were able to send social media updates. With the Mattel Puppy Tweet, your socially minded puppy can trigger over 500 preloaded phrases to a Twitter account simply by moving or barking. Some of these tweets include ‘I bark because I miss you. There, I said it.” and “Now hurry home” or “I finally caught that tail I’ve been chasing, and . . . OOUUUCHH!”

Hope you and your pets enjoy this age of digital transformation!

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