FIDO is a patch of turf for your dog to do its business indoors

The Premise. Dog owners know that part of having a pooch entails taking them for several walks daily so that they can do their business. Those up north have trouble with this when the snow and ice settle in for almost half of the year. For dogs that are unwilling to brave the cold, most opt to use smelly, gross pee pads in their house for their pets to go on. 

The Product. FIDO stands for the Fully Integrated Dog Omni-Trainer. It is basically a pee pad on steroids. This product features a large grassy square of turf that dogs can “go” on. Underneath the grass there are several other layers designed to guide all the “ick” onto a pee pad below. It comes with drawers that hold the replacement pee pads, the current pad as well as scent strips to cut down on nasty odor. An added treat dispenser helps to reward and train dogs with the FIDO even includes the option for a prerecorded message from the owner. Can smartphone notification be far behind?

The Pitch. The campaign video shows the sibling creators of FIDO taking about how their elderly parents who live in the cold inspired their product. It also shows dogs actually using the product with ease. The rest of the campaign goes into their long prototyping process and details each attachment of FIDO separately. This product hopes to raise $30,000 in a 45-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. FIDO itself will cost backers a donation of $50 with delivery expected in November 2014. Lower reward tiers offer a medication for dogs with hip and joint issues. Reward levels go all the way up to $1,000.

The Potential. FIDO seems like well-considered approach to get your dog to pee inside. The campaign doesn’t say much about number two, but for number one, FIDO is the way to go. Regular old pee pads are kind of disgusting and smelly. Other products in this arena that also feature turf, like the aptly named Tinkle Turf, are extremely messy and collect the urine in a large, sloshy tray making it difficult to clean up. All in all, FIDO gives dogs and owners alike the chance to remain indoors when the snow and ice are too much to bear, or pee on.

Connected Objects Pets

Kittyo keeps your cat fed and entertained, hits paws on the remote

The Premise. For many people, pets are not simply animals taking up space in their houses while furring everything up, but are really members of the family. Leaving them for a week-long vacation or even a day at work can be sad. Unlike humans, pets can’t simply pick up the phone to talk which leaves the question: how do you interact with your pets when you’re away?

The Product. Kittyo is a device that lets you play with your cat when you’re not at home. This compact product dispenses treats, comes with a laser for your cat to play with, and has a speaker and camera so that you can watch and talk to your cat. Using wi-fi and an iOS or Android app, pet owners can interact with their pets in real time to control the laser and treat dispenser. Kittyo is roughly the size of a coffee grinder and comes with a shelf mount to keep it from getting knocked over by hungry kitties.

The Pitch. The video shows a bunch of cat people talking about how excited they are for Kittyo. It also shows the device in action, featuring a woman on her phone watching her cat chase around the laser that she’s controlling, pretty cool. The creators talk about how Kittyo is great for engaging fat cats that could use some exercise, which makes sense. The rest of the campaign shows the specs of the dispenser along with cute, irresistible kitten photos. Kittyo needs has a $30,000 goal for its 32-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Kittyo’s creators offer two early-bird specials of $99 and $119. The Kickstarter standard price of $139 is $50 less than the expected retail price of Kittyo. All tiers have an estimated delivery date of November 2014.

The Potential. Cat people will do just about anything to interact with their pets while they’re away. Recently the market has been flooded with these types of devices that use wi-fi to interact with cats. PetPal and iCPooch also let users talk to and watch their cats while away. Some focus simply on the dispensing of treats or food, like PETLY and Pintofeed. Kittyo is the first of these devices that have the added laser option which actually lets people play with their cats when they’re out of the house which is fairly cool. The price of Kittyo is also on the lower end of these products, which makes it that much more attractive. All in all, the Kittyo’s awesomeness will have backers thinking the product is the cat’s meow.

Connected Objects Pets

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.