If you worry about how much your dog misses you while you’re away, a thirteen-year-old girl might have a solution.
Spokane, WA resident Brooke Martin created a device callediCPooch, which will allow you to video chat and give treats to your dog from anywhere.
"My dog Kayla suffered from separation anxiety, so I thought it would be really cool to be able to video chat with her while I was away from home to make sure she was OK,” Martin explained. "The idea of delivering her a treat seemed liked it would really make her happy if I could figure out how to do it.”
The finalist for the GM Young Scientist Award pitched the idea at a Startup Weekend event last year, and was met with a standing ovation. She garnered the attention of venture capitalist Tom Simpson, who was eager to get on board. Brooke launched her own company and filed for patents. They are still working on the product, which is in the prototype phase, and hope to have it on store shelves soon.
Some money has been raised, and aKickstarter campaignhas been started. Here is a bit about the iCPooch, taken from the Kickstarter page:
"With the iCPooch device connected to a home wireless Internet router, you can deliver a treat from a smart phone, tablet or computer no matter where you are. The device also has an adjustable mounting bracket so that you can attach a tablet or smart phone (not included) and video chat with your pet! The tablet/smart phone operates independently of the iCPooch device, allowing you to use Skype video chat software to auto-answer your calls (we are also working on our own video chat solution).
As long as your smart phone/tablet has a microphone and a camera (most all do) and is connected to the internet, you can video chat with Fido at eye level, and in the separate iCPooch app deliver a treat. An estimated 13 million-plus dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and we know that pet owners do, too!"The iCPooch device is a combination of a miniature vending machine and a computer.
The device acts like a computer, using a motherboard (Raspberry Pi) and Wi-Fi module to connect to the Internet. The computer is attached to a motor that is activated when the owner of the device gives it the "drop treat” command from their remote computing device (smart phone, tablet, PC, etc).
A removable/re-loadable sleeve inside the device houses the treats, and one treat is pushed out by the motor arm each time the motor is activated.”