Petcube will let you watch, play with and take pictures of your critters while you’re away
posted Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM EST
As anyone who works long hours and has a pet probably knows, your critters can get lonely and frantic if there's no one around to play with them. Some folks hire dog walkers, others get more pets so they can keep each other company. But a Ukrainian startup is aiming to change that, with a small box that'll let you see, talk to and play with your pets, no matter where you are in the world.
The Petcube is planned to be a 10cm (3.9-inch) cube, that houses a Wi-Fi connection, wide-angle camera, speaker and microphone and, of course, a remote controlled laser pointer. With the Petcube, you would tap into it either through a browser or smartphone app, and be able to see and play with your pet even while you're at work -- you can even take pictures to share.
Founder Alex Neskin came up with the idea when he moved to a new apartment, and his pet chihuahua would spend all day barking and annoying the neighbors. He rigged up a webcam to keep an eye on the dog, and then set up a Arduino controller with a laser pointer to play with it and keep the animal entertained. He eventually started letting even other people play with his animal in what he called The Rocky Project.
The prototype for Petcube has just been demoed at Seedcamp Week in Berlin, and the team is hoping to get a Kickstarter underway in late summer or early fall. I know a lot of dog owners will love to be able to check in and make sure Fido isn't chewing on the furniture, and cat owners are sure to get a kick out of watch their felines chase laser points.