Level pup! Canines get their own game console
Give your dog a challenge with the CleverPet, a gaming device that keeps your pooch on its toes to earn treats.
Let's face it, your dog will never be an Xbox master. And that's OK. If you want to introduce your pooch to the wonderful world of gaming, you'll need to take a different approach. Something like the CleverPet should do nicely.
CleverPet is a game console for dogs currently raising funding on Kickstarter. At its heart, it's a treat dispenser, but it doesn't give up its treasures lightly. The dog has to earn the tasty morsels by figuring out a series of increasingly challenging games.
It starts simply. The dog pushes any of the touchpad buttons and receives a treat. Then, only the lit buttons deliver a snack. The puzzles evolve from there, gaining complexity and involving different lights and colors.
As with a lot of human games, CleverPet adapts to the skill level of the dog so it doesn't get too frustrating or too easy. The device connects to Wi-Fi and is monitored through an app. You can check how your dog is doing and keep track of how many treats are going down the hatch.
If you're concerned about fattening up your pooch, then the CleverPet can be used like a dog bowl instead, doling out a regular meal serving over the course of a day. There are still quite a few $159 early-adopter-level pledge slots available. The regular pledge price is $199.
The CleverPet is part of a new breed of pet gadgets that aim to entertain and engage pooches while the owner is away. We've seen everything from a smartphone-controlled interactive laser toy to a smart bin that trains your dog to put away its toys. If it reaches its funding goal, the CleverPet will be an interesting addition to the market and will give your dog something to do while you're occupied on the latest Call of Duty. It's like parallel play for both humans and fuzzballs.