It's the home stretch, and Furbo is about to successfully fund what they claim to be the "world's first treat-tossing dog camera". My first thought when I read this bold claim? Bullshit. But then I realized that they can make this claim, on a technicality. While Furbo may not be the world's first pet treat cam, they are the first tossing treat cam.
What is Furbo?
Furbo is, first and foremost, a pet camera. It includes 720p HD resolution, a 120 degree wide-angle lens, 4x digital zoom, night vision, a microphone, and a built-in speaker. Using the camera and the included mobile app, you can check in on your pet anytime during the day or night. And not only can you see your pet, you can talk to him thanks to two-way audio. Of course, you can also reward his behavior by throwing a treat at him using the "treat popper". The treat popper launches small doggy treats into the air and toward your pet.
Furbo is for Dogs
Furbo can be used to keep an eye on cats or dogs, but there are several features built into Furbo that make it unique for dog owners.
- The camera can detect barking.
- If barking is detected, you can receive push notifications to your smartphone.
- The camera includes a cool blue light to grab your dog's attention before launching a treat.
- The camera also makes a soft clicking noise to attract your dog's attention, training him to pay attention to Furbo.
- The camera includes strong 3M adhesives to keep the camera in place, so your dog can't knock it over.
How is it Different from Petzi?
While I'm not sure who was the world's first pet treat cam, I know that Petzi has been around for awhile and is a popular option. In fact, you can already order it and hold it in your arms within days. This is in contrast to Furbo, which isn't quite ready for primetime. Besides availability, there are several differences between the two cameras, two of them major. The first major difference is the way they distribute treats. Furbo uses a mechanism to literally launch a treat into the air. Petzi sort of flops the treat on the ground. It's sad and pitiful, but gets the job done. The other major difference is that Furbo includes the aforementioned features that are specifically made for dogs. On the other hand, Petzi is for dogs and cats - though it doesn't offer any special features aimed at either.
With the major difference out of the way, let's focus on the minor differences. First, the design. Though subjective, if you think Petzi's design is better, you're wrong. Why? We’re talking purely about looks right now. Furbo has a modern design, where Petzi … well … doesn’t. Second, the camera specs vary slightly, with Furbo offering extra features like two-way talk and the ability to record and share videos. Third, though Furbo is cheaper right now, it won't always be. You'll have to decide if the device is worth the added cost, or not.
|Price||$119 Pre Sale ($239 Retail)||$169.99|
|Camera Resolution||720p||720p at 30fps|
|Audio||Two-Way - You can see and hear your pet.||One-Way - You can talk to your pet.|
|App||iOS and Android (Apple Watch compatible)||iOS and Android|
|Video Storage||Video Storage and Social Media Sharing||Does Not Record Video|
|Treat Size||Round shaped treats with a diameter |
around 1 cm (.4") work best.
|Small Treats - Milk Bone Mini's, Bear Crunch, NUTRO Crunchy Treats, etc|
|Availability||August 2, 2016||Shipping Now|
Furbo clearly has more features and right now, it's a better price. Of course that won't always be the case and the major downside is that you have to wait for the device to become a reality. And then there's the little matter of production. I've seen some crowdfunded campaigns deliver the product as promised and others underdeliver. However, it seems like Furbo might be a lower risk than other crowdfunded projects. They've already completed Beta testing and feel comfortable that they can ship to the first wave of backers in July. As most crowdfunded projects are at least a year out from shipping, this aggressive shipping promise does indicate that they've already done a lot of legwork. The project is also an Agency 2.0 Certified Partner Campaign. So if you want to back the project, head to Indiegogo and pick your reward.