A startup in Burnsville created a new way to obsess over your beloved pets.
Anser Innovation spent the last three years developing PetChatz, a device that allows pet owners to basically set up a Skype session with their pets, with the added bonus of being able to dispense treats and smells (yes, really) via web app.
The first batch of PetChatz, which retails for $349, ships out on Monday. See also: 3 Tips For Internet Cat Video Stardom
"It's a way for busy pet parents to maintain physical interaction with their beloved animals," said PetChatz co-founder Lisa Lavin.
Here's how it works: PetChatz mounts to an electric outlet and connects to wifi. When owners are away they place a call through the web app and pets (hopefully) come when the device rings.
Then pets and owners are reunited through a two-way video link, treats and smells are dispensed and both parties eventually part feeling a little less lonely.
The smells are loaded onto PetChatz Scentz pads and dispersed via a small fan. PetChatz sells its own essential oil to put onto the Scentz pads, but owners can rub whatever they want onto them.
"We recommend using something consistent, soothing and something that's not found inside the house so the pet will associate it with PetChatz," said Lavin.