When you leave your pet alone, who suffers from separation anxiety more – you, or your furry friend? That’s a question you will no longer have to ponder with Petcube, a smart gadget that allows users to watch, talk and play with pets. In addition to a low-intensity laser beam, Petcube comes equipped with a wide-angle video camera, a microphone and speakers, all encompassed in a durable aluminum 4-inch cube. A Wi-Fi connection allows users to monitor and play with their pets from anywhere in the world.
A mobile application developed by the Petcube team runs the interaction process. Users can see their pet and use joystick-like controls overlaid on the video stream to move the laser pointer all over the room. If the pet is in a different room, built-in speakers and a microphone allow users to talk to their friend from afar.
Petcube allows owners to share access with friends and have full control over who can access their Petcube and when. Users can share photos and videos of their animals on social media. In the future, Petcube plans to install devices in shelters so people can play with the public cats and dogs.
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.”
Led by three founders, Yaroslav Azhnyuk, Alex Neskin and Andrey Klen, the team has worked on the Petcube for more than a year. The past two months were spent working with Haxlr8r, a company that offers seed funding, mentorship and consulting to hardware startups. Based in Shenzhen, Haxlr8r program helps teams deal with factories, suppliers, and deliver high-quality products on time.
Check out the Petcube video here:
To find out more about Petcube, log on to petcube.net