Leaving your dog at home as you head out in the morning can be a stressful affair, especially if the canine makes those heartbreaking whines or has a history of bad behavior when left alone. The CleverPet is a device that aims to mollify these concerns by keeping your precious pooch company and engaging them throughout the day with button-based puzzles. In other words, it’s Simon for your dog.
The plain white device, which looks like a futuristic food bowl crossed with a small toilet bowl, has three touch pads positioned at its front. Throughout the day, the CleverPet will light up its touch pads and reward your dog for pressing them.
At first, a reward treat is given if your dog presses any of the lit-up pads. As your dog progresses, however, the puzzles increase in difficulty – for instance, a reward will only be given if your dog presses a specific pad. After passing that level, the CleverPet will present your dog with more challenging interactive games.
The CleverPet, which is Wi-Fi enabled, is linked to a mobile app and website, which let owners keep track of their dog’s progress each day and set custom schedules for the device.
The San Diego-based company behind the CleverPet is running a Kickstarter campaign, which is set to end Monday. So far the campaign has raised nearly $173,000 from more than 1,000 backers. As a result of passing its $150,000 stretch goal, the CleverPet will be equipped with various built-in sounds (e.g., a clicker sound, which may be familiar for dogs trained with clicker devices).
The CleverPet will begin shipping production units in February 2015, with test units scheduled for availability in September.
While the company notes that the CleverPet is primarily built for dogs, it works with cats too (depending on their disposition). Cat owners looking for a cat-specific device to keep their feline engaged when they’re away from home have other options.