Connected Objects
iCPooch offers videochats, snacks to defeat doggie doldrums

The Premise. Snoopy has it pretty good. He can act out the carefree antics of Joe Cool, have exciting Red Baron adventures, mess with little kids as the Easter Beagle or Great Pumpkin, win first place in a Christmas light contest, and perhaps best of all, demand dinner on a whim. Meanwhile, other dogs are stuck at home in an empty house while their owners get to have all the fun!

The Product. iCPooch is one dog owner’s attempt to bring relief to the depression that many dogs experience when their entire world has walked out the door a duration that seems unending. Owners simply connect the doggie delighting device to a wireless router, and then they can easily stay in touch with their four-legged family member. Yes, now even dogs can make their own selfies of sorts as they videobark with their humans by using their very own smartphone or tablet attached to an included adjustable mounting bracket. And just like any savvy record representative for a major label or a Hollywood studio lawyer, the owner maintains control. In this case, that’s with the iCPooch Android app, iOS app, or Web browser. Owners can even deliver a treat at the click of a mouse if their doggie is behaving. Several treat sizes will be compatible with the enclosed reloadable and removable bin.

The Pitch. The video for the $20,000 campaign, which doesn’t shy from playing on viewers’ emotions for funding, aims clearly at those with busy lives who see their dog as being more than just their stay-at-home pet. It’s quickly revealed that the product was invented by a poised 14-year-old, a pretty impressive feat even if she did get a bit of help from Dad with the details.

The Perks. There are eight tiers from which backers may choose. The $99 early bird special offers a complete product, plus Fido’s name in computer monitor lights via a listing as a Founding Pet who helped bring the project into the lives of other struggling doggies and their grateful owners. The estimated delivery is May 2014 for all levels.

The Potential. iCPooch could be useful to any smartphone vidchatter who feels that their dog needs a little extra tender loving care and a little less privacy. However, it seems that trusted neighbors might be able to check in occasionally to calm an anxious pet until its human family can get home. iCPooch appears to be a one-of-a-kind product that can make a dog’s life a bit less of a dog’s life when you’re away.