Connected Objects
PetPal separates electronics from feeder to dispense foods remotely

The Premise. Having pets is wonderful, but it’s necessary to find someone to care for them when you’re out of town. It’s tough to travel or even go out for the day when you have to worry about feeding your dog or cat.

The Product. PetPal is a pet feeding system that holds up to 15 pounds of food. Using Wi-Fi and an app, pet owners can dispense food into the bowl without actually being in the house. A button on the top dispenses food too so the bowl can also be used when you’re home. The PetPal has a camera and motion detectors so that you can see and take photos or videos of when your pet eats. A microphone and speaker lets you hear your pet and talk to it as well.

The Pitch. Ken Powers, the creator, talks about his love of animals and pets in the video. He wanted to make a product that would not only feed his pets, but that would also allow him to see and talk to them when he’s away. In the rest of the campaign he discusses how he wanted to build his product like his durable toaster that has lasted him for 40 years. PetPal hopes to raise $150,000 in its 45-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. PetPal’s reward tiers offer three early bird specials at $350, $360 and $360. The system goes for regular price of $395. All tiers have estimated delivery dates of August 2014.

The Potential. There have been a lot of pet care products looking for crowdfunding recently. PETLY is an automatic pet feeder that works off of a schedule to deliver food at regular times. Pintofeed also has Wi-Fi capabilities so that you can feed your animal from a smartphone, computer or tablet. Most similar to the PetPal, the iCPooch lets dog owners video chat/bark with their pets and even deliver them a treat it they’d like. PetPal is by far the most sophisticated of these. It delivers food either manually or automatically and the microphone and camera are a great way to keep an eye on things at home. The price, however, is quite steep compared to similar products being developed. Other than the expense, PetPal looks like a perfect way to feed and keep an eye on pets when out of town.

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