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Your pampered pet could have a new reason to get excited while you're gone. The Droppi delivers treats and toys based on a timer.
The Droppi can hold toys as well as treats. Droppi
The automated pet entertainment space is surprisingly crowded. There are robotic feeders, treat dispensers with webcams and even a canine gaming console. There's not a ton of room left for innovation, but Kickstarter project Droppi is having a go at it despite the competition.
Droppi does one thing. It attaches to a wall, up out of your pet's reach, and holds a toy or a treat. Then it sits there, waiting until the moment is ripe, for when you it receives the command to release its precious cargo to rain down upon your dog or cat. Droppi works on a timer, so you can set it to release a chew toy halfway through your work day when you're gone or dispense a treat mid-afternoon. The idea is to break up the boredom of the time when you're away.
The gadget has a recording function that lets you create a personalized 10-second message that will play when it kicks on. As a bonus feature, it also acts as a sound-activated nightlight.
The regular pledge price for a Droppi is about $39 (around £25, AU$45), though there are still discounted early-bird pledge levels available. That makes it more affordable that a lot of the fancier interactive gadgets designed to entertain pets while owners are away. Perhaps its greatest advantage is the tray design, which can hold kibble, but can also handle awkwardly shaped items like chew toys.
The Droppi is good for one drop at a time. You will need to reset it in between. If you want to space out the treat deliveries, you'll need to pick up more than one Droppi. The Australian Kickstarter project has 57 days to left to go and has about $2,600 in pledges towards a goal of a little over $35,000.
Though there are plenty of high-tech options to choose from for remotely pampering your pet, the Droppi may be able to find its own niche in the market as a simpler way to tell your fuzzy best friend you love him, even though you have to be away at work all day.Amanda Kooser Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto. See full bio