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January 14, 2018

Even pets got in on the action at CES with these gadgets for furry friends

by John_A

From rollable OLED TVs to robots that can play ping pong, CES is always filled with mouth-opening tech — but it’s not all for humans. Every year there’s a growing list of impressive tech for our pets, from temperature-controlled beds, to a ball that can play with your dog. Here’s what we found and loved at CES 2018.

Pebby

Ever feel guilty for leaving your pet alone at home? Pebby’s a great way to make sure your dog or cat doesn’t get bored at home. Pebby is a ball that houses a camera and several sensors, but these delicate electronics are protected by an incredibly strong and waterproof plastic material — your dog will have a difficult time chewing it. You can use an app to move the ball around — even if you’re miles away from home — and the camera and speaker lets you see and speak to your pet. If you don’t have time to control the ball, you can purchase a “smart collar” that you put on your pet, and Pebby will roll around and play with your dog automatically. The collar also doubles as a basic activity tracker.

Pebby can go off in play mode for about 90 minutes, and if you need to charge it, send it towards the ramp-shaped charger and Pebby will automatically find its place and start charging. Pebby originated as a successfully-funded Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaign, but the company is finally ready to ship. Pre-orders start at $189, and final retail price will set you back $249. It will start shipping in the first quarter of 2018. You can pre-order the smart collar for $59 now, but the official price will be $79.

PetMio

PetMio wants to be an all-in-one solution to help manage your pet’s eating habits. First is the Smart Tracker, which goes on your pet’s collar and tracks activity and periods of rest. The data gathered from the tracker allows the connected app to figure out exactly how much exercise your cat or dog gets, and what needs to be in his or her diet. It’s all done through PetMio’s Intelligent Nutritional Algorithm, which is powered by machine learning. The Smart Bowl, which doubles as a scale, tells you how much food to give, as well as how long your pet is eating for, how much, and how often. All this data is uploaded to the cloud is compared to other pets using PetMio to identify trends, which the company hopes will help veterinarians preemptively identify health risks.

Best of all, the PetMio system knows how much food you ordered and how much your pet has eaten thanks to the Smart Bowl. The app will automatically send you more food when it detects you’re almost out. The company wants to make sure your pet is eating the amount they should, so each day’s worth of food is packed into individual bags — you’ll get a box filled with these individual packages. PetMio claims the food is “organic, human-grade, natural,” with responsibly-sourced ingredients. The tracker costs $80, the bowl costs $120 (a larger bowl is priced at $140). If you pre-order now, you can get both as well as a month’s worth of food for $99 (dogs and cats under 50 lbs) or $129 (over 51 lbs). PetMio originated as a successfully-funded Kickstarter campaign. It will launch in the fall, and will be subscription-based.

Petrics

Pets deserve the best place to sleep, and Petrics‘ answer is a temperature-controlled bed. The ecosystem is similar to the triple-device service from PetMio, but instead of delivering your food, Petrics is more about sleep, nutrition, and activity. The Universal Fit Activity Tracker attaches to your cat or dog’s collar and measures activity. It’s IPX7 water-resistant and has a 4-month battery life. The Smart Pet Bed has three functions: it’s a scale, it can warm up or cool down the bed, and the mattress is composed of a comfy memory foam-like material. Then there’s the app, where you can input what food you feed your pet, and get nutritional advice and recommendations.

All three work together, so when the tracker detects your dog or cat had a good deal of activity, it will cool down the bed. The activity data is sent to the app so you can see things like your pet’s “caloric burn rates.” The app can do a great deal more, like offer food based on your dog’s breed and activity; it can issue alerts when there’s been a food recall; and it can remind you about vet visits and when you need to give your pet its medications. Petrics’ products will launch early 2018, but pricing hasn’t been confirmed.

Wagz

Got more than one dog? Wagz has some nifty solutions to problems like securely letting your dog in and out of the house, or making sure one dog doesn’t eat the other’s lunch. Using radio frequency on collars, the smart feeder can detect when your dog approaches its bowl. If it’s a different dog, the feeder will close the bowl. The same technology is applied to the dog door, which opens only when your dog approaches it. The feeder and door will cost $250 each, and will be available early 2018.

Wagz also has a smart collar that track your dog via GPS, and you can add a camera to it (as a separate purchase) to get GoPro-style action footage. The connected app lets you create geo-fences that warn you when your dog leaves designated areas; it alerts you when your dog is barking unusually; and it also tracks basic fitness activity. The collar has an e-paper display that shows your dog’s name, as well as your phone number and address — it won’t fade away even after the collar’s battery dies after 72 hours. The collar costs $295 (without the camera), and Wagz will start shipping in the spring of 2018. For GPS tracking, you’ll have to pay about $10 a month.

Tractive GPS Cat

Tractive has been in the business of making GPS-connected wearables for dogs for quite some time, but at CES 2018 it finally unveiled a GPS tracker for your cat. It’s meant for people who let their cat out to stroll around the neighborhood, but it can also give you peace of mind if your cat manages to leave your house on its own. The tracker is integrated into the collar, and it also tracks activity. Due to European law, the collar has a “breakaway” mechanism that makes it fall apart if your cat gets stuck with it on. The feature sort of defeats the purpose if the collar is meant to track your cat, but it’s the same problem with most smart cat collars.

The Tractive GPS Cat will release soon this year, but it will launch in Europe first. It will likely cost around the same price as Tractive’s other trackers, which is $70. There’s a version for dogs called the Tractive GPS Dog, which is a slightly revamped version of its previous dog trackers. Its main improvement is a better collar attachment.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Your pet can sleep on its own smart mattress with Petrics
  • Pebby lets you play with your pet even when you are away
  • Give Google a bone — Google Photos can now identify different pets
  • The Waggit fitness collar will help track and improve your dog’s health
  • Snapchat is assisting your search for the perfect filter with ‘computer vision’




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