Petcube is a unique new device that will have pet owners everywhere clamoring when it hits the market next year. The hardware is a cube that incorporates a microphone, speakers and a small laser beam all tied to a mobile app.
As you can probably tell from the name, the cube is meant to be left at home with your pet and when hooked up to your home wifi, the device will be accessible from your iOS device. Petcube allows busy pet owners the opportunity to interact with their pet back at home with their own voice and the red laster beam. The microphone allows the pet to bark, meow or chirp back to the owner, which could provide some much needed relief from pet anxiety.
PetCube has already raised over 206% of their initial Kickstarter goal of $100,000 with four days to go at press time.
PetCube will beta test the hardware product in pet shelters. At that time the app will be available to anyone who wants to download it for free. App users will be able to interact with the pets in the shelter and provide them with some “virtual” company.
Having Petcube in shelters will allow people to play with dogs and cats that may otherwise be left alone. Shelters can be a stressful environment for companion animals, so the hope is that the additional interaction will help alleviate some of the anxiety. If a viewer likes a certain pet they can contact the shelter to discuss adoption. It’s not only the pets and shelters that will benefit: people who don’t own a pet of their own will have the opportunity to virtually play with pets. Access to shelter devices will be open to the public to give anyone the opportunity to interact with pets through the app.
The organizations that have signed on to participate in the program are looking forward to the seeing the benefits of having the device in their shelters. “The interaction of play time can be critical to reduce stress levels in cats, especially in animal shelters where cats tend to be stressed the most,” said Stacey Price, Development Manager of Gifford Cat Shelter.
The app has awesome features like joy-stick style controls which will allow you to move the laser beam around the room to play with your pet. It also allows you to share your petcube with others that way if the pet has a big family the whole family can get involved. The PetCube is also small enough that it could be taken to other locations like a boarding facility.
The idea for Petcube was born from founder Alex Neskin’s need to solve his own problem, as well as his love for his Chihuahua, Rocky. After complaints from neighbors, Neskin, a robotics enthusiast and programmer, made a controlled webcam to see what was happening while he was away.
“Rocky was sitting by the door and barking when anyone walked by,” Neskin said. “It was then I understood that he needed a distraction – something to do while I wasn’t home. I added an app-controlled laser beam to the device, allowing me to play Rocky’s favorite game with him even when I wasn’t home.”