Just because you’re away, it doesn’t mean your pet pooch doesn’t deserve a doggy treat.
Furbo, created by Seattle-based startup Tomofun, has an interactive dog camera that comes with two-way audio, to ensure that neither you or your mutt feels quite so lonely when separated. The canister-shaped gadget also has live-streaming capabilities and you can dispense snacks, all via a connected app.
Maggie Cheung, co-creator of Furbo, explained to Metro how her beloved dog inspired the development of Furbo.
What led you to create this device for pets?
As a dog parent, the toughest part of my day used to be the moment when I would leave for work. My 8-year-old poodle would cry and give me the saddest puppy eyes that just broke my heart. I needed a solution that allowed me to truly interact with him when he's feeling lonely at home. That's why our team created Furbo as a simple way to help dog parents keep close to their furry loved ones.
How does Furbo work?
It’s designed to help dog parents care for their pups in real-time, all the time. Furbo is the first dog camera to include a treat-popping feature, which allow pups and parents to play from anywhere — relieving parents’ concerns about their dogs being home alone. Parents can see, talk, toss a treat, and watch as their pup chases the treat through the air from any smartphone.
Why did you design Furbo to toss treats?
Designed with the input from over 5,000 dog parents, Furbo is made specifically to suit the needs of dogs. Instead of simply dropping treats to the floor, Furbo is thoughtfully designed to toss treats into the air, mimicking the way dog parents play fetch with their dogs. It feels as if you're right there playing with them.
Do dogs actually enjoy Furbo?
Yes, dogs absolutely love Furbo! When a treat is about to come out, Furbo plays a light audible clicking sound that is akin to a professional trainer's clicking device. Dogs learn to develop a positive association with the clicking sound. As soon as they hear this sound, they come running towards Furbo and happily wait for their delicious treat to pop out.
Could a cat owner use Furbo?
Yes! Cat owners can definitely use Furbo. In fact, our office kitty loves it. She'd always try to catch the flying treats with her tiny paws. As long as the size of the cat treats fit into Furbo's treat dispenser, cat owners can play and interact with their cats while apart.
How can Furbo help pets and owners?
Having consulted with many professional dog trainers and researchers, we engineered Furbo to help with separation anxiety. Parents can calm their pups by talking and interacting with them via the camera. Furbo can also help improve a dog’s behavior: if the dog is well behaved at home, reward him with a treat to reinforce good habits as they happen.
In addition to launching treats, what others features does Furbo offer?
Being away from home doesn't mean you can't respond to emergencies. Furbo's microphone senses when your dog is barking and immediately sends an alert to your phone. You can quickly open the Furbo app and see what might be upsetting your pup. Furbo also has built-in HD night vision, so you can check in on your dog even if you're having a late night at work.
Furbo is available for pre-order now on Indiegogo starting at $119. The first 3,000 units will ship in July.
-By Daniel Casillas