Cats aren't going to go for it.
There’s a connected device for every person in your home, from iPads to toys that use robotics or Wi-Fi for toddlers more inclined to reach for a smartphone than a teddy bear.
But what about your dog?
At CES I ran into a connected pet feeder that’s more than just a remote food dispenser. It will entertain Fido while you’re at work or are too busy tapping on your phone screen for a game of fetch. (Please play fetch with your dog or take it on a walk.) The CleverPet food dispenser combines the Simon memory game with an electronic pet feeder.
There are three light up pads on the feeder, and the idea is that your dog will learn that pressing the light dispenses its food. After a while the patterns get more complex. I have a smart dog who gets bored during the day and loves to find the nearest waste bin of Kleenex or unattended sock and grab it to engage me in a game of chase, so I’m tempted by this product.
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However, at $299 ($269 at CES), this is not cheap. The product won’t arrive until some time this spring, but it does have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Pets are a big business—the American Pet Products Association estimates that consumers will spend $60.59 billion on their pets in 2015—so I am hugely curious how this does.
I have to admit, when this was dispensing M&Ms at the CleverPet booth at CES, I found it fun.