Great news for those of us who can't go for a pint without worrying about our fluffy friends at home: Petcube has announced new versions of its Bites and Play petcams.
The Petcube Bites 2 and Play 2 have been redesigned, adding features including extra-wide-angle lenses for up to 180-degree views of the room, and better 2-way audio with a 4-microphone array. That'll come in handy for another new feature: the addition of Alexa.
Connectivity has also been improved, and 5GHz WiFi is now supported.
The treat-dispensing Bites 2 camera is now smaller, and has an "updated treat flinging mechanism" (sentence of the day) for better control over portion and treat sizes. Meanwhile, the Petcube Play 2 has had its laser toy redesigned to be smoother and more precise. No one likes a jumpy laser.
Both cameras also offer 1080p HD video and night vision.
The Play 2 and Bites 2 can both make use of any Alexa skill, including controlling smart home devices and playing music. Not something you need for your pet, of course, but if you don't have an Echo device, it's an easy way to add Alexa to your system, and makes the whole thing more useful when you're at home too.
As before, there's an optional membership called Petcube Care (annoyingly priced in dollars, even in the UK) that adds more video recording, an extended warranty, and on the highest package, smart alerts for things like barking and meowing.
Yaroslav Azynyuk, CEO and co-founder of Petcube, comments:
"Petcube products have essentially become smartphones for pets, with average pet parent spending over 54 minutes per week interacting with their pets - more time than they talk to their parents over the phone. Our mission is to connect pets to the internet and give them a voice."
The new cameras will be available in Matte Silver and Carbon Black. We don't have UK pricing yet, but we'd expect around £200 for the Play 2 and £250 for the Bites 2.