Pet Tech: Connect With Them!
Marianne: We are talking tech for your pet. Actually, a way for you to keep track of what your pet does. Ryan Eldridge with Nerds On Call is back this morning with some great options for us, right?
Ryan: Yeah, this is pretty cool. So this is the Petcube. You mount this up in your house so you can watch your animals. It has a wide angle lens. It’s 720- whatever resolution, so you can check it out. But there’s a cool part. There’s a little laser pointer on there, so you can play laser pointer with your pets while you’re work throughout the day, watch them on the app. But you can also share your camera with other people on the net, and then they can play with your pets while you’re gone. Down here, for example, this is a shelter that’s got one, so yo can use your finger as a little laser pointer, and this cat’s going to ignore me, but you can…
Marianne: That’s because it’s a cat.
Ryan: Yeah. Use your finger as a laser pointer, and you can play and engage with other pets. It’s a little creepy, though, because there is sound. So people can talk to your pets, but you can disable that if you want to. But it’s kind of cool. So it’s $199 dollars. You can get it at petcube.com. This one’s kind of cool. This one’s called The Whistle, and this is a GPS tracker for your animal. So imagine if your dog gets out or your cat gets out and they run off, and you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, I don’t know where they are!” You set up a whistle zone for your animal, and this is a little GPS tracker that you use the cell network to track where they are. And so, you can get an alert on your phone if they leave your designated area, and it’ll say, “Hey, your dog is running away! Go get him!”
Marianne: Do you know how far it will go?
Ryan: It’s nation-wide. So if you’re on a vacation someplace and you put it on, and then you leave and go someplace else, you’ll be able to track where they are, and what’s happening, and all that other stuff.
Marianne: Because I know people worry, even though we love our pet sitters, you worry about you just turn an eye, and they’re not used to your pet, and next thing you know…
Ryan: We had a little Yorkie, and he jumped out the window of our car at a stop light one time. And we were like, “Oh, my gosh, where did he go?” And we had to run out and get him. But with this little pet tracker, you can track where he goes in case he runs off. So it’s 60 bucks, and it’s $10 a month for the cell network.
Marianne: Good investment.
Ryan: This is called the FitBark. So this is kind of cool. This is like a fitness tracker for your dog. And kind of think this is sort of ridiculous, but when you think about it, we’ve got let’s say a labrador, for example, you want to make sure that they’re getting enough exercise. This will tell you and compare with other animals of the same breed and tell you whether they’re getting enough exercise. Plus it will tell you if there’s a sudden drop off in activity, and so you can go, “Something’s wrong with my dog.” You can find out what’s going on.
Ryan: You can give that information to your vet if you want to find out what’s going on. And here’s the last part. This is called the…hold on, let me see. This is called CleverPet. You can go to getcleverpet.com.
Marianne: And it’s this thing right here, right?
Ryan: It is. It’s like a little My Simon for your dog. And so what it does it plays games with your dog throughout the day, and they can play different ones. There’s one called Catch The Squirrel. I’m going to scroll real fast here. There’s one called Catch The Squirrel where the little dots go around and you can slap on it. There’s a little pattern so you can learn how to play it. It gives him a treat every time he wins. And then there’s also word learn, so you can say, “Touch left,” and he’ll press the left button and get a little treat. So you can teach your dog words! That’s pretty cool. You can record your own voice, so if your dog has like high-anxiety or something like that, it can be your voice that’s talking to him throughout the day. But it just gives him something to do, especially if they’re tearing up the toilet paper roll when you’re gone. It just gives them something fun to do.
Marianne: Tear out the sofa cushions.
Ryan: Mark Cuban says that “Idle paws are the Devil’s playground.”
Marianne: Yes! Mark Cuban said that?
Ryan: They have a bunch of great quotes on the front page. But it’s just kind of a cool thing. This isn’t out yet, but it’s expected to release sometime this year. It’s $299, and if you’ve got a high-anxiety pet or something that needs a lot of attention, this is the way to go.
Marianne: And they’ll pay attention to it, huh? Really?
Ryan: They love it. Look at this dog on the front. I’m going to go real fast. This dog up front, he’s just hanging out and saying, “Whoa, there it is.” And he starts smacking on it.
Marianne: He’s learning. He’s learning. He gets a little treat. This is where the Fitbit would come in handy because it could also show your dog getting so fat from eating all the treats. Maybe need to up the exercise.
Ryan: They have some where there’s a little camera and it will take pictures of your dog throughout the day and give them a little treat, but they found that the ones that doesn’t give the dog anything to do actually creates more anxiety in the dog because they sit there with the ball and wait for the treat all the time. But this gives them something to do to get the treat.
Marianne: Good deal. Good stuff for dogs, one that’s also good for cats there. We’ll get you to Nerds On Call. You can reach them, of course, as you know 919-NERD if you want to find out more about these apps too. And you put them all on your blog?
Ryan: Yeah, just go to callnerds.com/blog and there’s tons of great stuff about this stuff.
Marianne: All right, good things, Ryan. Love that stuff.
Ryan: You’re welcome.
By: Andrea Eldridge, CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company.
For most people with a furry, feathery, or slimy companion, pets are considered members of the family. So why don’t they get treated like the kids and have all of the latest gadgets? Well, up until fairly recently, pet tech was just a dream of pet owners around the world. The days of simply being able to watch your pets through a live video feed are through, the pet tech of today allows families to connect with their pets in an interactive way so that even when they are miles apart, both parties still feel at home. The Nerds from Nerds on Call have put together a list of the latest and greatest pieces of pet tech that should be available by the end of this year.
The Petcube is an interactive WiFi pet camera with a wide angle lens that streams high definition video that costs about $200. Petcube is accompanied by a free app that allows users to remotely control a laser pointer by dragging your finger around the screen. Perhaps the most interesting feature of this particular piece of pet tech is the “public” setting. Once enabled, the “public” mode allows anyone on the net to play with your pet virtually if you are not home. This means that pets that are alone at home or stuck in a crowded shelter can virtually play with any person that has the Petcube app paired with a Petcube device. The online community allows you to view and play with other people’s pets as well, sort of like Instagram, but more interactive…and with pets! The Petcube is a revolutionary piece of pet tech that could help keep our companions busy even when we can’t!
The next pet tech item on our list is called the PetBot. PetBot is a pet cam with the ability to tap into live video streaming so that you can talk to your pet through built in speakers. This $190 camera can also dispense treats when you prompt it too, or when your animal is within range of the device, depending on which setting you use. The PetBot uses integrated facial recognition software to “see” when your pet is in range, and then capture a video or photo that will be sent to you throughout the day. With this piece of pet tech, your animals can literally send you selfies throughout the day just by walking by the PetBot. This device has started to be produced, and should be available around May 2016.
The first two pieces of pet tech are great if your pets hang out indoors all the time, but for those who want to keep tabs on their outdoor pets, Nuzzle is the solution. The preliminary shipment of the Nuzzle has already sold out at the price point of $170 and should be released any day now. Nuzzle is the only pet tracker with no monthly monitoring fee and nationwide GPS for real time location tracking that works for both dogs and cats. before using the Nuzzle, you must set up the “geo-fence” or virtual barrier that you wish to contain your pet within. If your pet leaves the safe area, you will receive a notification on your smartphone. Not only does Nuzzle keep tabs on your pets locations, it also tracks their temperature and impact so that you can keep an accurate record of your pets health in case your veterinarian ever needs access to them. For those interested, Nuzzle should be available through their website after the first batch ships out this month!
Some people may think it unnecessary, but there are real benefits to tracking your pets fitness. If you track their activity levels and they do not meet the averages of the breed, or if you notice a sudden change in activity levels it could be a sign of a health ailment arising. The FitBark is exactly what it sound like, a FitBit for your pet. The lightweight, waterproof sensor attaches to your pets collar. For $70, you get the device along with the app for iOS or Android with no monthly fee. This piece of pet tech tracks your pet’s activity and rest time and then suggests exercise guidelines based on the pets breed, age, and activity type. The app also offers a tracking option to show the progress your pet has made and compare the results to others of the same breed. FitBark offers a social media-like network for pet friends that you connect with.
Clever Pet is the perfect pet tech item to help keep your furry friends entertained while you are away. Clever Pet is expected to launch sometime this year at a price of $300. The item includes a touch pad with three buttons that light up in variable order. The idea is, your pet presses the lights in the right order and then a treat is dispensed. As the pets learn how to play, the sequences of lights get more and more complicated. Clever Pet is sort of like the game “Simon” but for pets. Pet owners can also record their voice into the device to help solidify training and alleviate anxiety. For families that hate to see their favorite furry friend bored and lonely when they leave the house, Clever Pet may help alleviate your guilty conscience as well is increase your dogs intelligence and problem solving ability.