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January 5, 2015

With the new innovations, pet communication has never been easier. No longer will pet owners have to wonder what their special friend is up to on long days at work.

Petzilla’s PetziConnect is a new device that utilizes new technology to allow owners to connect with their pets in ways never done before.

“We looked at the industry as a whole and very much recognized that there was this great birth of the use of technology,” said David Clark, CEO of Petzilla. “We came up with a device that we felt was an ideal entry point to begin an ecosystem of tech-enabled products within the pet industry.

According to Clark, the PetziConnect is very simple.

“The device allows you via an app on your phone to communicate with your pet,” he said.

Motorola also has a device called the Scout 66.

“The Motorola Scout 66 pet video monitor allows you to check in on your pets wherever you are in the world through a smartphone, tablet or computer,” said Sandy Robins, spokesperson at Motorola. “And, the device has the ability to talk to them through the app.”

Another new communication tool is the Petchatz which has four issued patents on this technology.

“Petchatz is a patented greet and treat video phone that allows pet parents to interact remotely with their pets,” said Lisa Lavin, CEO at Anser Innovation, manufacturer of Petchatz. “They can see each other, hear each other and talk to each other.”

In addition, pet owners can provide a scent and give pets treats remotely.

While these three devices aren’t tailored to any specific pet, the Kittyo is specifically designed just for cats.

“Kittyo is a revolutionary new product that lets you watch, speak to, play with and record your cat when you’re away from home,” said Lee Miller, founder and CEO of Kittyo. “You can even dispense treats!”

With these additions to the pet trade, technology is a necessity for remote pet communication.

So how do they work?

The PetziConnect comes to consumers already ready to go.

“You take it out of the box at home and you can mount it via screws to a wall at any height and any location,” said Clark. “You can also use the Velcro straps to attach it to the leg of a table. Or you can simply just place it on a countertop, whatever is easiest for you.”

The device is then easily paired with the app on a phone or tablet via Wi-Fi.

“The Wi-Fi setup is just brainless, super easy,” said Clark. “And then once you are connected, you load treats into the device and from anywhere or anytime, you log on and you can see your pet, speak to your pet and take videos and pictures that are easily sent to your phone.”

According to Clark, pet owners can also upload the pictures and videos to social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram.

The Motorola Scout 66 also has features that allow pet owners to talk through the app to their dog or cat with more features designed to help pet anxiety through Wi-Fi.

“You can play a choice of four different tunes if they are anxious,” said Robins. “It also has night vision so you can actually see in at night and it has a temperature control so you can actually check in on the temperature of their surroundings if you are away from home.”

The Kittyo also uses a home Wi-Fi connection.

“Kittyo is a compact device that you place on your shelf and connect to your home Wi-Fi,” said Miller. “It allows you to attract your cat with sound and contains a video camera, laser and treat dispenser that can all be controlled remotely through the Kittyo app on your smartphone.”

According to Miller, the Kittyo also features the ability to speak to your cat and record video to share through social media. The device also has a laser chasing game to keep cats (and owners) entertained.

The Petchatz has technological features that make pet communication simple for pet owners.

“It’s got two-way sound,” said Lavin. “It has a speaker and a microphone. It also has a webcam so its two-way video as well with an LCD display. I can see my pet, my pet can see me. I can hear my pet and my pet can hear me. I can dispense scents and treats.”

Lavin says that incorporating scent allows creation of a multi-sensory interaction.

“Not only can they hear us and see us but they also have a scent that is being emitted and the scent is about associating this very unique scent to this very unique experience,” she said.

According to Lavin, the Petchatz also has motion and sound detection so pet owners can receive an alert to that effect.

The Petchatz can also automatically update devices in pet owners homes free of charge. It also features remote diagnostics.

These devices can help pet separation anxiety as well as curb pet boredom and loneliness. However, these innovative devices can also help pet owner anxiety and give them peace of mind.

“The whole idea of the Scout monitor is really to just connect with your animals and improve the human-animal bond,” said Robins. “You can check in on a young puppy or a pet that just had surgery. You can check in on all pets to see that they are okay.”

Petchatz helps with both pet and owner separation anxiety.

“For the most part, the Petchatz is really about solving for the pet parent separation anxiety,” said Lavin.

Lavin has heard behaviorists say that Petchatz could help with pet separation anxiety but true separation anxiety is a very difficult condition to deal with.

“More than anything else, it’s a way to provide interaction and stimulation for bored pets during the day,” said Lavin.

After market and consumer research, the PetziConnect team found that separation anxiety is mutual: both the pet and the owner experience it.

“In positioning it to consumers, it’s less about solving the separation anxiety point as it is the sheer fun and sense of love and joy that the interaction brings them at any point in time from wherever they are,” said Clark. “It allows the owner to check in and relieve the guilt of being away and gives the pet an opportunity to break up their day and have a joyful interaction.”

The Kittyo helps cat owners exercise their cats even when they are away from home.

“The majority of cat owners miss their furry friends when they are at work or traveling,” said Miller. “With Kittyo, you can now check in with your cats, play with them and dispense treats anytime you’d like, wherever you may be. The laser chasing game entertains your cat, satisfies his stalking instinct and helps him get more exercise during the day (studies indicate that more than 50 percent of U.S. cats are overweight or obese).”

The Kittyo is also a helpful tool when dealing with cat separation anxiety.

“Many of the cat behaviorists and veterinarians we spoke to mentioned that Kittyo could be beneficial in this area,” said Miller.

All of these devices are either available now or will be available to retailers in quarter one of 2015.

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