Now You Too Can Starve Your Pet With the Internet of Things

By Gerald Lynch on at

When an automated feeder goes offline, you'll wish you knew your neighbours a little better. Petnet makes "smart" feeders for your pets which, when connected to the internet, can be scheduled to intermittently dish out treats and grub for your feline and canine pals. If you're away on a short break, for instance, there's no need to inter your pet in a kennel or plead for a mate to come and check in on your mutt.

But what happens if such a service goes offline unexpectedly? What if you're sat on a flight to a far-flung place, only to find out via email upon arrival that Rex is going to have to live off his fat reserves for the next few days? That's what happened when the third party servers for Petnet SmartFeeders experienced "difficulties" earlier today:

As outlined this morning with the Osram light bulb fiasco, you're opening yourself up to an all-new wave of problems when you hand over responsibility of menial tasks and systems to automated services. When the Internet of Things works, the strain can be lifted from managing mundane tasks. But when it goes wrong, venting for accountability is a hassle all of its own. And poor little kitty won't quit its mewing just because it's someone else's server's fault. [@alanzeino - Twitter]