With approximately twenty percent of the funding goal already raised, this pet-friendly Indiegogo project allows iPhone owners to feed their pets without having to return home. Called the Pintofeed, this pet feeder connects to a home’s wireless network and the homeowner can connect to the Pintofeed food dispenser through a mobile application. If a pet owner has to work late at the office or is out of town on vacation, they can open up the application and tap a single button to feed their pet. At this point, the Pintofeed dispenses a half-cup portion of the pet’s food and sends a notification message back to the pet owner stating that their pet has been fed.
In addition, feedings can be automated with the Pintofeed. Similar to the Nest learning thermostat, the Pintofeed can learn about your pet’s typical feeding times and automatically create a schedule to dispense food. Through the application, the pet owner can monitor their pet’s food intake and check out nutritional habits. Notifications offer data such as the start time of the feeding, the portion of food dispensed and the portion of food that was eaten by the pet.
The Pintofeed application also allows a user to control more than one Pintofeed from the app. This would be ideal for families with multiple pets that have their own feeders. In addition, multiple members of a household can use the application to control a single Pintofeed. With all members of the family checking to make sure their pet has been fed, the likelihood of missing a feeding would be significantly reduced.
Built for both large and small animals, the Pintofeed comes with both a five-pound and ten-pound food repository. The clear repository is also sealed in order to keep the food as fresh as possible. In addition, the repository is dishwasher safe when it comes time to clean the Pintofeed.
The team behind Pintofeed also takes any type of hardware malfunction or food jamming issue very seriously. If the unit happens to fail or gets jammed with food during a scheduled feeding, the Pintofeed immediately sends notifications to the pet owner in the form of a text message, email message, Facebook message or Twitter message.
By alerting the pet owner immediately, they can return home to feed their pet in a timely fashion. In addition, the Pintofeed will attempt to dislodge any jammed food by putting the “motor into a low frequency vibrating mode,” ideally fixing the problem without user intervention.
Regarding the design when it comes to overactive pets, the Pintofeed was built with a low center of gravity in an attempt to dissuade pets from tipping it over. Even if the Pintofeed was tipped over, the repository is being held in place by magnets and requires a pulling action to be removed. The Pintofeed was also designed with as many flat surfaces as possible to reduce the likelihood of a pet chewing on the feeder.
With 29 days left in the Indiegogo project, the creators of Pintofeed are seeking $50,000 to begin mass production of the smart pet feeder. There’s currently a limited number of $99 Pintofeeds available at this time and there are options for purchasing the feeders in bulk as well. In addition, the creators are donating money for the care and feeding of ten shelter animals for each Pintofeed that’s purchased through the Indiegogo project. According to the project details, the first batch of Pintofeeds should head out to customers by June 2013.