October 8, 2013
Since the publication of my first product review, my inbox has dealt with a surfeit of email from my animal kindred and their human companions alike. While many commended my efforts on finally giving a voice to tech-savvy pets, others provided insight into the bizzare psyches of sentient beings.
“Supernal dog, how dost thou write?”
“I wouldn’t mind sniffing around THAT tail. Woof!”
“I’m a Pekingese, but my owner keeps feeding me cat food. Am I a cat? What is the essential form of ‘cat’ or ‘dog’?? What am I truly???”
“Can you get on Skype, so we can pretend to be in the same room? I’m lonely, and I’m sick of eating dinner by myself.”
While I appreciate the interest in my writing ability and my admittedly fine physique, discussing the natures of dogism and catism simply cannot be covered in less than 500 words (or even 10,000). But with regards to the last comment: fund iCPooch and we pets will never again be lonely!
What is iCPooch? It’s an Internet-enabled device that allows our owners to video chat with us from anywhere, as well as deliver us treats using their smartphone, tablet, or computer. While the current prototype is designed for dogs, I’m sure different models will be made to accommodate pets of all types (although, whether that actually happens matters not to me). It was designed by human Brook Martin, initially for an 8th grade entrepreneurship project, but quickly developed into a legitimate business venture after gaining wide acclaim at Startup Weekend – Spokane.
“Being a rescue [dog], I have a lot of separation anxiety issues. She created this to help me cope while the family is away from home – isn’t she great?” barks Kayla, a golden retriever, on her owner’s motivation behind inventing iCPooch.
Here’s a shocking statistic, fellow canines: there are approximately 13 million of us in this great country alone suffering from separation anxiety. This is according to Chris Martin, Brook’s father and the COO of Bondgy, the startup they’ve created to support iCPooch. From what I could translate, Chris says “Bondgy is about bond and technology: the idea that we can bond people and animals by using technology. [iCPooch] is about the ‘phygitical’ – physical world interacting with the digital [world].”
Frankly, though, my heart breaks even more for owners out there. I know that Jen surely must be on her knees, in pain, every time she’s away from me – the inability to look upon my visage, eating away at her soul. Sure, the dog treat feature of iCPooch is great, but I would gladly relinquish such a benefit if only to let Jen stare at me for hours (also, I’m just kidding, Jen, you better not not give me a treat!). With iCPooch, I can video chat with Jen simply by connecting the device to a computer, tablet, smartphone, or even video camera-enabled TV.
Bondgy is currently focused on getting iCPooch into the marketplace, attempting to raise the money required to purchase the molding tools. I wasn’t aware that angels had money, but the company recently closed a second round of angel investment (human religion is complicated; praise be to Scooby).
Well, I’m off to chase these pigeons. Until next time!
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