Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Smartphone-triggered pet feeder connects to social media

Hook your pets up with a high-tech feeding solution. The Pintofeed watches portions, automatically serves up meals, and texts feeding alerts to the owner.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Pintofeed feeds a cat
Here we see a domesticated feline feasting on its helpless prey. Pintofeed

Every morning and every night I wade through a gauntlet of screaming kitties, demanding their meals. This is the dark side of living with LOLcats. It would be nice sometimes to kick back in a coffee shop somewhere, tap on my smartphone, and let a machine do all the work.

The Pintofeed is an intelligent, Wi-Fi-connected pet feeder that's dialed in to smartphones and social media. It serves up food in half-cup portion increments and is controlled by Android or iOS devices. The standard capacity is 5 pounds of food, but an optional 10-pound holder is available.

There are plenty of safeguards built into the machine to insure it keeps working while you're away. It has a battery backup in case the AC power goes out. There are two motors so the secondary motor will kick in if the first one goes out. The owner receives an alert if something goes wrong.

Pintofeed can send notifications of feeding start times, portions, feeding end times, and errors via e-mail, text, Twitter, and Facebook. That's right, your pet's food bowl could also be your Facebook buddy.

Pintofeed is currently raising funds on Indiegogo. You can pick one up for a $130 pledge. It makes sense for pet owners with irregular schedules or people who have a hard time keeping a cap on portions.

One drawback is the dry-food-only aspect. It would be much more complicated to build a solution for people who feed wet food to their critters. Complications also arise when you have more than one pet, especially if one is a known food thief with a propensity for getting overweight. I'm not naming names, but it might be a certain gray tabby.