A startup company, PetChatz, is about to release a video conferencing system that allows remote dog owners to video chat with their dogs. It also allows the dog owner to remotely release treats and scents.
This triggers an alert that goes to an app on the owner's smartphone, tablet or PC.
I'm seriously looking forward to the day when someone says to me "sorry, I've got to take this call. It's my dog".
The system contains a speaker, webcam, LCD screen, scent and treat dispensers and sound and motion sensors. Users mount it on a wall at the right height for their dogs.
One of the things I find really interesting about this product is we've reached the point where mobile devices and video conferencing have become so cheap, we can use them to talk to dogs.
We cover Pet Trends and the shift towards pet humanization mostly for fun.
But the trend towards pets replacing and/or augmenting human children and family members is both a powerful and growing social trend. For example, in the U.S. there are more households with dogs than with children.
Pet products and services have also become an important and growing business segment. Americans are expected to spend close to $60 billion this year on pet related goods and services.
So while we make fun of people who overly humanize their pets, we recognize it's an important business sector with lots of opportunities for small businesses.