There’s a growing trend of electronic products meant to make the owning of pets easier and funnier: from the bark “translators” Bowlingual to a “PollyVision” DVD for a captive bird’s viewing pleasure or the Talk to Me Treatball , a virtual pet sitter which, when nudged, dispenses treats and electronic reassurance via a prerecorded message that says — in your voice — “Good dog!”
According to Bob Vetere, from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn, “products like that increase the market of potential pet owners because they allow many people to have pets who couldn’t care for one before.”
Self-cleaning litter-boxes (Litter-robot or litter maid) have sensors that detect when a cat has entered the box, and “tell” the rake to collect and deposit the waste into a plastic dispenser.
Not every high-tech pet product makes some sense. The Thirst Alert water bowl emits a series of flashing red lights around the rim when water or food is gone.
According to the LA Times, a soon-to-be released deluxe Thirst Alert bowl will send the owner an e-mail or text message when the pet’s bowl is empty.
A dog has been caught on camera breaking out of his kennel at Battersea Dogs Home and freeing other animals for regular midnight feasts. (via del.icio.us/nsop)