If you share your home with a fluffy bundle of energy that loves you unconditionally, it’s understandable that you’d be hesitant to leave them behind and venture out into a world that’s nowhere near as soft, warm, or receptive to your need for cuddles. Especially if you have to leave for more than a work day.
There are of course many app-connected camera systems out there that allow you to keep an eye on your dog when you have to be away for any period of time, many of which allow you to not only see them, but speak to them too to offer comfort. Still, with these devices there’s an element of interaction missing; you can’t pet your dog or reward them for their good behaviour.
Though the Furbo camera certainly doesn’t allow you to pet your dog when you’re far away, it does have a treat dispensing system that will at the very least allow you to feel a little more present. Like other cameras available, Furbo has two-way audio so that you can speak to your dog and hear their barks. As well as this it has night vision so that you can check in when it’s dark. Furbo can take photos and record videos when they’re doing something particularly adorable, which are then stored on your phone. It also has a built-in microphone which will pick up when your dog is barking and send a push-notification to your phone to ask if you’d like to check in.
The most interesting aspect of Furbo is the treat dispensing system. Any time you’re leaving home, just load a bundle of your dog’s favourite treats into the Furbo’s airtight compartment and use the app to dispense them remotely. The creators of Furbo say that where similar systems drop the treat for your dog to pick up when they spot them, their device offers more interactivity by alerting your dog through light and sound that there’s a treat incoming before firing it across the room, letting you and your dog play fetch remotely.
The Furbo app is suitable for Android and iOS and you can set the system to turn off when you arrive home which is good for alleviating that creepy feeling that you’re being watched.
According to its creators, the Furbo is ready to go and guaranteed to ship, having been tested on 1000 users but right now they’re seeking funding on Indiegogo to make mass production and their July shipping date possible.
The team have already met their $50,000 goal and at time of writing have $73,314 with one month of their campaign left to go. You can still pledge money to get your own Furbo camera and you might want to get on the early bird options that come with the Indiegogo campaign because it’s not cheap afterwards; $99 (£68) plus $25 (£17) delivery will secure you a Furbo camera when it ships in July, a merciful 55% discount from the expected final retail price of $239 (£164).