Skype just didn't do the trick for medical device developer Mark Kroll, who took videoconferencing with his dog a few steps further with his invention of PetChatz, social media for dogs.
It's a 'pet phone,' designed to be about the size of an iPad, that you can contact from a computer or any mobile device, wherever and whenever you like. PetChatz will be equipped not only with a screen, but a webcam, speaker, microphone and scent and treat dispensers. And yes, the pet owner does control the treats!
If PetChatz takes off, it will probably cost between $200 and $300. The big 'IF" is determining whether dogs, the primary intended users of the technology, will use the device the way it's intended to be used; they do have minds of their own. Kroll's dog responded, but for how long?
The device could be used in two ways; one to observe the dog through the webcam, like any so outfitted tablet, and also to communicate with him in a 'video-conference.' You might call the dog, but would he come? Would he see you on the screen, or just recognize your voice?
Having had dogs with separation anxiety, I wonder if PetChatz would make them more calm or more excitable. Trainers have instructed me to get my dogs used to being alone at home as soon as possible.
Any of our readers want to weigh in on the subject? Leave your comments below!
source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
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