It’s not as exciting as say a 3D compost-heap printer, but pet tech is slowly moving beyond the twin poles of boring and/or foolish. Today’s gadget-loving cats and dogs have choices, more choices for dogs than cats, mind you.
Take the bleeding-edge Motorola Scout 500-2, for example, perhaps the most advanced pet comm the world has ever seen (that is, until the Scout 5000 is released!). Too bad this collar-based video cam with two-way communication is too large and clunky for a cat, or even a small dog. (Our editors are willing to overlook that problem, however, as long as the manufacturers correct it immediately.)
Filling the vast space between baby monitor and electric fence, the Scout 500-2 is a monitoring marvel that even has night vision (for the camera, not the pooch). Your dog’s privacy is history, as you watch whatever he does from a 520 foot radius.
Though the service concept shows a heavy influence from the discipline and monitor crowd (doggy NSA), the product still shows creative potential towards higher hum-an-imal goals of play and community.
I can think of at least a few fun ways to use a Motorola Scout, which is basically a walking microphone and camera. So tricked-out, Fido is transformed into a roving video-chat session. Think of the time-savings alone when you can just send the dog to go talk to your mate or borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbors. I don’t know why a really smart dog, like Lassy-smart, couldn’t be trained to visit the post office or go to the corner store for you.
Of course, when the cat version comes out, we will have a much more interesting story on our hands. Then there will be lizard cams and hamster cams, and eventually mosquito cams. You can’t stand in the way of progress like that once it gets going.