Pet products are getting fancier and more interesting all the time, especially with the help of crowdsourcing techniques that help get zany-sounding and/or expensive ideas off the ground. We've come across a few especially cool projects lately that have been made possible with the help of Kickstarter. Take a look...
Starting at the top: Petcube is the highest funded pet-related project on Kickstarter to date, having raised around $250,000. Intended for people/pets who suffer from separation anxiety (or just miss each other when they're apart), this high-tech box allows pet owners to watch and even interact with their furry friends when they're not home thanks to a camera and remote-controlled laser pointer. Makers of Petcube hope that animal shelters will find a use for the product, too, as an additional feature allows Petcube access to be shared with followers.
About 2,000 people have already pre-ordered Petcube and shipments are set to start next month.
Shru is geared specifically towards cats and calls itself not just a toy, but an "intelligent cat companion." This programmable egg-shaped rolling toy responds with movement and sound to cats' playful advances and is charged with a USB cord (no batteries needed). Can't find your Shru? It also has a "find me" feature.
Shru reached and exceeded its Kickstarter goal and is available for preorder on its website. Shipments are expected to begin in fall 2014.
This next successful project helped to build the first true off-leash dog park in Detroit, a city that's all too commonly diminished by stereotypes of decay and disorganization. Not mentioned quite as much is the underlying energy of neighborhoods working to build themselves up, and the addition of a dog park has helped to foster community while giving pets a place to run and play.
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What's next on the pet innovation agenda? We can't wait to see.