Top hi-tech gadgets for pets

Jake the dog (Raquel Krouse)We live in a digital world, so it makes sense that our pets would have some cool gadgets of their own. And, for the holidays, new media solutions for pets make good gifts for the pet lovers in your life. From pet social networks and dating sites, to digital camera collars, pet mobile phones and GPS systems, the pet-tech field keeps bringing pets and their owners new toys to play with. Here are some cool, albeit strange, digital innovations for pets:

There is no longer a need to guess whether or not Fido is happy or sad. Digital translators, Mewolingual and Bowlingual, interpret your dog or cats thoughts and feelings into words you can understand. The technology places a meow or bark into one of six standardized emotional categories and announces a phrase to represent the emotion. Sadly, the translators are currently only available in Japanese.

GPS pet locators such as Spotlight and Zoombak help owners keep tabs on their pets if they run away. Owners can monitor and pinpoint their dog’s location in real-time, set up boundaries or safe zones, and be alerted via text or email if the pet wanders beyond these designated borders.

Adding two-way communication to a GPS solution, the PetsCELL is a voice-enabled, mobile phone for pet collars. The device has a microphone and a speaker just in case you want to chat with your dog while you’re away from home. If someone finds your lost pet, they can use the “call owner” button to notify you or a call center.

If you are curious about seeing the world from a pet’s point of view, there are several digital cameras designed to clip to your pet’s collar. Uncle Milton’s Pet’s Eye View can be programmed to take a picture every 1, 5, or 15 minutes.
The SNIF Tag is a tiny RFID device attached to a dog’s collar that uses motion-analysis software to record pet’s daily movements and activities. SNIF Tags are recognized by those worn by other dogs. Owners can compare activities view and connect with profiles of other owners of SNIF Tag wearing pets.

If you need to stay late at work, pet owners can send a command via their PC or mobile phone to an iSeePet360 food dispenser to release food for their pets. There is also a built in web cam to check out the scene at home, and owners can record their voice to let their pets know when it’s time to eat.

Online services that have seen wide adoption for humans have extended their reach into the animal world. Peer to peer services have hit the dog sitting world with Swapadog, allowing dog owners to connect and exchange pet care with others in their area. Social networks designed especially for pet lovers such as Dogster and Dogtree help owners find playmates and connect. Still, if you are looking for a life partner for your pet, there are even pet online dating sites like Pets today have their own airline and home exercise equipment. What will they think of next!