We've seen lots of technologies that allow pets to play with toys while the owner is either not around or too busy to give the animal the attention is deserves. One of the latest is a planned new product called Kittyo, which will allow owners to play with their pets even when they're not home.
Many of the similar products we've seen before tend to be passive, on the part of the owner. For example, the iFetch allows a dog to chase a ball without human intervention, while the Solar Chaser automatically bobs a cat toy up and down. But what Kittyo promises is different, instead allowing the owner to actually play with their cat remotely. It's not the first such product we've seen, with the Petcube coming before, although that device has yet to actually make it to market.
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Kittyo features a laser, camera, speaker and a treat dispenser. If you've ever played with a cat and a laser pointer, you know they go crazy for it.
The cat's owner controls the laser via the touchscreen on a smartphone, allowing them to have direct interaction with the animal. To get the cat's attention, the owner can use the microphone to call the cat over. From there, they can see it playing on their screen. When all done playing, the pet parent can dispense a treat to their kitty.
Lee Miller, the inventor behind the Kittyo, is seeking funding on Kickstarter. The project just launched, and has already passed its US$30,000 goal. Backers interested in preordering a Kittyo for July delivery (assuming it reaches production) can do so for a minimum pledge of $99 while the early bird special lasts. From there, the pledge jumps to $119, and then tops out at $139.
The "cat version" of the iPet Companion system is another similar product, although it sells for $849.95.
Kittyo can be seen in use in the pitch video below.