Become a Smarter Pet Owner With These Gadgets
You’ve probably heard about lights and webcams that work with smart devices to better secure a home, but an intelligent fish aquarium or a robot-like companion for your dog? These are just a few examples of smart products you can buy now and use in your pet-friendly home.
A Smart Fish Tank
The FishBit Smart Aquarium System monitors and controls your home fish tank through a combination of a sensor, controller, and smartphone app. First introduced on Kickstarter in February 2016, the system goes on sale later this summer.
With the Fishbit Monitor, your tank’s critical water parameters are always monitored to keep your fish safe. These parameters include the water’s pH, temperature, and water level. The Fishbit Controller, by contrast, makes sure that the equipment is working optimally. This device controls the tank’s heaters, pumps, and dimmable LEDs.
Finally, the Fishbit app (available for iOS and Android) brings everything together. You’ll use it to see how your tank is doing in real-time, get alerts, turn equipment on/off, and more.
The freshwater version of the FishBit Smart Aquarium System is $500. The salt water system, which includes the ability to monitor and control salinity, is $700. Discounts on pre-orders are available.
- Pros: Testing your water’s pH level is easier, and we like the idea of dimmable LEDs.
- Cons: $500 and you don’t get a fish tank?
Do You Have a CleverPet?
Most folks work outside of the home each day, which is bad news for man’s best friend. Home by themselves, dogs can suffer from loneliness and boredom, which can lead to an unhappy pet. CleverPet is a smart home device launching later this year that engages dogs throughout the day using puzzles made with sounds, lights, and touchpads.
CleverPet, which looks a lot like an upside down food bowl, adapts to your dog’s routine and skill level. You can update it with new games using a Wi-Fi-connected hub. Example game types include Chase-the-Squirrel, which uses lights that move across the device’s pads and Word Learn, which teaches your dog to respond to certain words through commands using your voice. When your dog solves a puzzle, they are rewarded immediately with a piece or two of kibble.
A CleverPet app allows you to download new games to the Hub. You can also use it to monitor your dog’s progress throughout the day. The app also lets you remotely schedule when the CleverPet is operational, or you can leave it on all day. The device disengages once it disperses your dog’s daily allotment of food. Your pet only eats the amount of food you have served.
Like FishKit, CleverPet got its start as a successful Kickstarter project. It launches later this year for $299.
- Pros: Puppies and active dogs will probably love this.
- Cons: Price is a huge factor, especially if your dog says no to the device.
Other Smart Products for Pets
Though they might not sound as exciting as Fishbit and CleverPet, other smart home products exist for pets, including smart door flaps, smart feeding stations, and smart toys. Here are a few of those that we have uncovered.
Smart Door Flaps
The top-of-the-line Passport Pet Access Smart System uses entry and exit technology that allows your pet to come and go without you opening the door. Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, the Passport reads a key worn on your pet’s collar. Only pets with programmed IDs can enter and exit your home, while keeping other animals away.
With Passport, you can program multiple access options, such as in-only access or out-only access) and schedule access only at specific times of the day. You program the door on an LCD screen with 5-button navigation or by connecting to your computer with the included USB cable.
A less expensive alternative is PetSafe’s Electronic SmartDoor, which provides 24/7 access to your pet. Like Passport, the Electronic SmartDoor uses RPID technology. A special collar worn on your pet activates the door to open and close.
- Pros: Reasonable price, peace of mind.
- Cons: Where’s the app?
Smart Feeding Stations
Cat feeders that measure the amount of food your pet is getting aren’t new. CatFi Pro takes this to a new level. Considered a smart cat feeder, CatFi Pro features facial recognition technology. Through a free app, CatFi Pro helps you monitor your pet’s weight, food, and water intake. It also includes an alert function.
Formerly known as Bistro, CatFi Pro is currently in development. In the meantime, the company behind CatFi Pro is offering Box, a Google Cardboard like device that lets you communicate with your pet remotely using an app. Box requires two smartphones, one which serves as a webcam and another that acts as a controller.
You can download the directions for making a Box online or request a beta invitation to receive one for free.
Pros: Interesting concept.
Cons: Not yet available, price unknown.
Smart Pet Toys
Even pet toys are getting smarter in the 21st Century, including one that plays fetch with your dog, so you don’t have to.
The iFetch Interactive Dog Fetch Toy is an automatic ball launcher for small pets. It helps to eliminate boredom and give your arm a rest. The iFetch requires six C-cell batteries, or you can plug it into a standard wall outlet. It comes with three mini tennis balls. An iFetch Too is available for larger dogs.
It seems the world is getting smarter thanks to home-based smart technologies . Among these are pet-related products such as the ones shown above.
What smart products do you own for your pets?
Image Credit: CleverPet Hub via CleverPet