'PetChatz' Lets Pets, Owners Video Chat

Dennis Faas's picture

Miss your pets when you're away on vacation or those long, dull business trips? Well, there may now be a way to keep in touch with your little critters. PetChatz is a two-way video system that can also be used to dispense scents and treats.

PetChatz, which is about half the size of a desktop computer tower, plugs directly into an electrical outlet -- preferably one near ground level, where dogs, cats, iguanas, and other domesticated animals can access it.

In the middle of the device is a screen the size of a smartphone display. When plugged in and remotely connected through WiFi to a home network, that display can be used to access a two-way video system.

Once that end of the system is set up, PetChatz users simply download a dedicated application for their smartphone or tablet computer.

PetChatz: Like FaceTime, But For Animals, Owners

Once the PetChatz hardware is ready and the dedicated app has been downloaded and installed, users can use the video camera built into their smartphone or tablet to interact with their pets. (Source: cnet.com)

The device plays a special tone designed to grab the attention of a dog or wake up a napping feline.

The PetChatz hardware can also dispense special scents designed to perform a variety of functions -- for example, one is intended to calm an animal.

If none of the scents appeal to you or your pet, PetChatz users can create their own scents (though it's not clear how well that system works). There's even a dispenser for dog biscuits and cat treats.

Device Useful For Soothing, Spying On Pets

PetChatz also includes a sound and motion detector that can alert you via smartphone or tablet if your pets are near the PetChatz hardware.

That's useful for catching your pets when they're nearby, but it could also be used to spy on poorly behaved animals.

Right now PetChatz remains in a prototype stage with plans for customer tests in the coming months. However, there are real plans to ship the device by early 2014.

If the idea interests you, a pre-order can be placed on the PetChatz website. At $349 the price is a little steep, but at least there are no plans to have customers pay monthly service fees. (Source: petchatz.com)

A video of PetChatz at work can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.

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