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Groupon launches fuzzy smart assistant for National Pet Day

Celebrate National Pet Day with Groupon's new Oliver smart assistant, which features data privacy, hands-free operation and orange fur.

You might do a double take when you see Groupon's launch page for its new Oliver smart assistant. But it's not April Fools' Day. Groupon is celebrating National Pet Day Wednesday with a not-so-digital assistant. 

Oliver is an orange tabby cat. Groupon describes Oliver as "small and feisty" and promotes his unparalleled privacy features. He won't share your data with anyone, mainly because he's a cat. "With Oliver, your privacy is completely protected," the video voiceover says. "You can be assured that no one else is listening, including Oliver."

As far as corporate jokes go, Oliver hits all the right internet notes by combining cats with smart assistants and an offbeat holiday. National Pet Day has been around since 2005 and its goal is to celebrate our pets and encourage animal adoptions.

Oliver may not have the same versatility as an Alexa or Google Home device, but it's a lot cuter. "Anatomically, Oliver is hands-free and does not help with anything around the house," Groupon notes.

The deals site suggests a few add-ons for Oliver that will improve your smart-assistant experience, including an extension cord (ball of yarn), data storage (litter box) and protective case (cardboard box).