Technology is letting already independent cats be even more independent than before. No longer will Pickles require you to handle all the chores of taking photos and uploading them to Instagram. She can do it herself now with cat-food maker Whiskas Australia's Catstacam.
The Catstacam is a Wi-Fi-connected, motion-activated wearable camera that hangs around a cat's neck, pointing outward to capture the feline's forward view. Photos are uploaded to the cat's own account on Instagram. It's part of an amusing limited-time marketing stunt.
The point-of-view photos are entertaining to browse through. A cat with the account "meow_rocket" uploaded quite a few photos with its fuzzy white feet in the shot. There's also a cat-level view of its well-used scratching post and a surprisingly artistic wistful look outside through a screened window.
The Catstacam project gives some interesting insights into the world of outdoor kitties. A cat called Charlie is an adventurous feline, sharing photos of brick walls, tree branches, garbage cans and people. It makes for a fascinating visual travelogue.
Whiskas also brought in some cat experts to help explain what's going on in the cats' photos. A mirror selfie taken by a cat named Lola led to an expert answering the question of whether cats can recognize themselves in mirrors. "When a cat sees a reflection in the mirror, they may show a 'startle response' but they don't interact with the reflection how humans would," reads the explanation.
The early-phase Catstacam devices were made available to only a few select cats, but Whiskas says it's looking into expanding the camera's availability. Cats already rule the Internet, so it's no surprise they would be able to handily conquer the social-media realm.