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Talking Bowl keeps your pet company

December 14, 2006 If your pet becomes lonely and anxious when left alone, you could always try therapy, or a mobile phone for your pet, or even a remote control or a bunch of stuff. If that doesn’t appeal, you may feel the need to try one of these new "talking" pet bowls. Called Chatterbowl, the new US$20 pet bowl is the invention of Talk2Pet. It’s not rocket science, being decidedly simple in operation - the pet owner records a message of up to 10 seconds into a small, battery-powered, electronic device called the TalkBox, which fits under the bowl, and as the pet approaches, a photocell in the bowl plays back the owner's message.  Read More

Luxury designer homes for dogs

October 4, 2006 Italian designer Marco Morosini has squeezed a lifetime into a third of a century and we suspect his next few decades might yield, well, almost anything, given the prolific and outstanding body of work he has assembled already. Some of his projects such as NoCopyright and BrandinatheOriginal are well worth a look, but if you’re a canine fan, his collection of designer doghouses that can be found at dogisagod are faaabulous! So faaabulous indeed that two of his luxury pet home designs have been manufactured in limited quantities specifically for the annual collection of fantasy gifts in the 80th (2006) edition of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. The retro-style Nomad is designed for transport, featuring wheels and crafted of poplar with an interior rug and coordinating wallpaper. The ultra-modern Good Life provides the perfect setting to receive guests -- inside its minimalist 44- inch crystal case is your pooch's very own plush armchair of Italian leather. Both homes will accommodate pets up to seven pounds and are carefully handcrafted by Italian artisans for indoor use. The exclusive editions are limited to only ten of each style, and each will be numbered and signed by the Marco. They cost US$5,000 and US$7,000 and we think it’s a shame they didn’t make them all, because some of his other pampered pooch bedrooms are just as good.  Read More

Sleepypod – pet bed and travel case with electric warmer

September 28, 2006 Now here’s a great idea for those people who dearly love their pet and wish to make it as comfortable as possible at all times. The Sleepypod offers a familiar environment whether your pet is sleeping at home, going on vacation, or just visiting the vet. The aim of the exercise is to have your pet build a positive association with the Sleepypod as a bed and play area while at home, so that when you’re travelling, your pet will feel at home no matter where they go. An optional electric warmer uses 6.5 Watts of power and adds US$30 to the price, bringing it to an even US$200.  Read More

The remote control for your cat/dog/horse and maybe even child

September 10, 2006 Get set for a whole new level of communication with your pet thanks to this remarkable new device, and consider the potential for keeping track of your child. The Hear Now is a new type of communication product for tracking, geo-fencing, lighting up and even communicating with your cat or dog – its attributes are also useful with horses and humans. Companies already track their roadgoing fleets and key assets using GPS but the cost and miniaturisation for this technology now has reached the point where the average person can cost-efficiently track the whereabouts of their pets and loved ones. Location-based GPS tracking services usually employ commercial wireless networks to transmit their position but the Hear Now uses a two-way radio system to transmit the information so there are no ongoing fees. It can track your canine on a map on the handheld up to 12 miles away, and you can also turn on LED lights so you can see him in the dark, and there’s even a call home button that strangers can push to alert you should they find your dog in distress. The first version of the Hear Now will cost US$200 and be available four weeks from now - it does not have the geo-fence or GPS capabilities yet. The company is seeking international distributors.  Read More

PetLoo – the backyard in a box

August 28, 2006 Firstly, if you haven’t heard the term LOO, it’s a polite expression for the toilet, having derived from a practice common in England by people who lived on the second and higher floors of apartment buildings prior to the advent of a sewerage system. Just prior to throwing the nights ablutions out the window and onto the footpath below, they would ever so considerately shout “look out belOOOO” to warn pedaestrians, which became shortened to LOO. All we can say is thank heavens for plumbing. Anyway, the PetLOO is an aptly named ablution solution for canines who live in apartments because dogs don’t use the human sewerage system (though cats can learn), and when a dog’s gotta go …  Read More

The latest in Canine Chic - Pet Chairs

August 17, 2006 The August issue of the Charles Keath mail-order consumer catalog, features an interesting new piece of furniture – a chair made specifically for dogs. The chairs are made by Goodwin and Company, the unique design firm famous for producing Slipper Chairs for high-end fashion and interior designers, and retail for US$169. Citing a recent Pew Research study that found 85 percent of dog owners consider their pet a family member, Gary Goodwin, president of Goodwin and Company said, “I think we've reached a tipping point with pets today -- people think nothing of lavishing mega dollars on clothing and care for their animals -- why not buy Fido an affordable piece of furniture the pet can call its own?"  Read More

Window extension maximizes space for pets and indoor gardens

June 30, 2006 If you live in a small apartment, have a primarily indoor pet, or want to build a mini-greenhouse, the aptly-named Wonderful Window could be just the thing you’ve been looking for. We like it because it creates functional real estate from thin air, and at just US$40, the innovative window extension that fits into a traditional window is a one-time investment in a permanently useful space. Primarily designed to provide animal companions with the pleasure of being outdoors without being exposed to outdoor dangers, Wonderful Window also frees up space for indoor gardeners to create a mini-greenhouse.  Read More

Faith the bipedal dog

June 13, 2006 UPDATED Emphasising the engenuity of nature, how much we have to learn in terms of bipedal robotics, and the fundamental truth that almost anything is possible if you haven’t yet realised that it’s impossible, is bipedal (two-legged) dog, appropriately named Faith. It’s an amazing story and there’s not a Gizmo in sight – just a dog born without front legs, a lot of love and a little faith! Now, we have an update - when we originally ran this story, we made the erroneous claim that Faith was the world's ONLY two-legged dog. We wuz wrong! Not only woz we wrong, the other bipedal dog we've since found, is missing one front and one rear leg. Read on ...  Read More

A doggie bowl for greedy eaters

June 12, 2006 Necessity is the mother of invention and the brake-fast bowl came as the direct result of an owner finding a better way to slow the eating regime of his nine-year old Doberman who always “bolted down her food down.” Michael Kitchen created the bowl to reduce the manageable risks associated with Gastric Dilatation/Volvulus (GDV). GDV ('Bloat') is an urgent, time critical, situation that causes a dog's stomach to distend with air and twist; triggering shock in the animal and requiring immediate emergency treatment. The resultant brake-fast dog food bowl's patent pending design prevents dogs from bolting their food.  Read More

Top 10 inventions for pets

March 25, 2006 For the last 50 years, invention has been largely the domain of the corporation, which had the oomph to take a good idea through the time- and money consuming journey to market. But as the internet has connected the minds of a billion people, it’s becoming clear that no matter how good your product development team, it’s no match for the collective intelligence of the world’s population. With this in mind, the inaugural IdeaFetch pet product invention contest was created with ideas and voting all done online. Yesterday the winners were unveiled at the American Pet Product Manufacturer's Association (APPMA) Global Pet Expo and the winning pet inventions included a number of rippers. The outright winner, the MicroID Collar, will be available later this year as part of the winner’s prize and places an electronic journal on a pet's collar to store pet and owner data including name, address, phone number, vet visits, medications, etc. Other commercially viable ideas amongst the top 10 votegetters included a “Pet Fire Alert Collar” to help firefighters locate hiding pets in a house fire, a “Pet Fire Escape” for pets to escape from a house fire, a “collar-activated pet dish” that only opens to your pet, a “solar-powered doghouse blanket” for pets in cold climates and our favourite, “Hotel Kitty for the pussycat on the go.” Designed to enable your cat to travel with you, Hotel Kitty is an all-in-one cat carrier with all mod cons such as a litter tray, travel dishes and compartments for food, small toys, etc. Given that more than 50% of homes in most countries have a cat or dog, don’t underestimate the size of the market, or the potential to use the internet to further your product development efforts.  Read More

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