Pet parents have a range of devices these days to keep their furry children fed and entertained consistently in their absence. Now a new addition to the remote pet care market adds images and sounds to the fun. The Petzi Treat Cam taps the power of internet-enabled devices not only to dispense food remotely, but also see, speak to and take pictures of their four-legged children when away from home.
A joint venture between Big Heart Pet Brands and Petzilla, the Petzi Treat Cam was designed by animal trainers and behaviorists to capture in detail a pet's shenanigans with their treats, a sort of private reality TV with pets.
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This is how it works: using a custom app that runs on Android and iOS, a single push will eject up to three dog or cat treats into the viewing area where treats fall. The camera/dispenser unit has a holding capacity of 1 lb 14 oz (846 g) and its dimensions are 8.75 x 5.5 x 8.75 inches (22.2 x 13.97 x 22.2 cm). It holds more than 100 bits and features a system that notifies the pet's parent when treats are running low, ensuring a constant supply. It can be filled with any types of treats so that users can stock it with their products of choice, which may be very specific with choosy pets.
Dispensing cannot be pre-programed, though. The idea is to keep it "a playful mutually rewarding interaction that brightens the days of pets and their pet parent," Petzi's managing director, Ian Twinn, tells Gizmag. Several cover options ("PetziSkins") are available to match different décor styles.
Video quality is fairly high, as the HD camera can capture up to 720p video. The camera also features low-light infrared video capture, pet motion detection while video footage is displayed in wide angle.
Petzi claims audio quality is high and sound is captured across an extended range. Users can use the microphone on the mobile device to speak to their pets as well. In case you're wondering whether pets can recognize digitally processed voices, Gwinn says they absolutely do, and respond to it.
To test the product, Petzila began shipping beta units during last year's holiday season following an Indiegogo campaign and got it in the hands of thousands of pet parents across the globe. It says on average users connect with their pets three times a day for 1.5 minutes. They are also making use of Social Petwork that is part of the package, a kind of Instagram for Petzi users who want to get social with their furry kids (or at least their fellow furry kid owners).
The video below shows how pets interact with the cam/dispenser. The Pretzi Treat Cam is have a retail launch in mid-July and it will cost $169.99.