5/13/2017 NOTE: Pawscam failed to reach their IndieGoGo funding goal.
What if you could strap a GoPro to your furry friends, would you? After all, they have special and hilarious moments too. Well, with the help of PawsCam, you can have a GoPro-like experience for your pets.
Action Cam For Pets
PawsCam is a lot like an action camera, except for a few differences. First, it is designed to attach to your dog's collar like a pendant. Also, its resolution isn’t as high as most action cameras. It only records 480p videos with a rather small 110-degree field of view. Third, while it compromises on video quality, the compromise improves its battery life, which is longer than most action cameras. With average use, PawsCam can last for 5-10 days on a single charge. When it's time to recharge, plug it into a USB adapter, and you're good to go. But perhaps the most significant difference is PawsCam's inability to record continuous videos. It captures short 6-second videos. In fact, you can't even tell the camera when to record. You can, however, check on your furry buddy by watching his most recent videos using the app.
So how does it know when to start recording? According to PawsCam, they use an algorithm that determines when it is best to record videos. The algorithm decides based on your dog's activity, lighting, and other parameters. For example, if the camera notices that your dog is outside actively playing with his toy ball, PawsCam will likely start recording. But before it does, PawsCam first tweaks its shutter speed, white balance, exposure, and other settings to optimize the video.
All videos recorded by PawsCam are sent to the cloud after connecting to your wireless internet. As the resolution is low and the clips short, the videos are uploaded to the cloud quickly. But what if a video is taken when you're not connected to the internet? No problem. The camera also includes 4GB of local storage. Videos not uploaded to the cloud immediately are stored locally until you reconnect. Once PawsCam is back online, stored videos are sent to the cloud immediately.
If cloud storage and local storage isn't enough for your fur baby, PawsCam also plans to introduce a social media platform for dogs. Taking a page from GoPro, this social network will be for sharing your favorite videos.
A top concern when creating a product for pets is ruggedness; this becomes especially true when dogs are involved. The product needs to be resistant to biting, scratching, mud, and more. Will PawsCam survive?
PawsCam is both bite-proof and scratch-proof, which means no matter how rough your dog plays, the camera is far from danger. It is also water resistant. However, it's not waterproof, so taking it for a swim would be ill advised.
Price & Availability
As a pet owner, I'm excited to see how PawsCam will perform. Unfortunately, no one really knows until the product ships later this year. PawsCam is currently collecting funds through IndieGoGo. They are 13 days away from the end of the campaign and have hit only 42% of their target. Perhaps the world has enough pet cams? With Furbo the treat tossing cam, Petcube the interactive laser camera, and others already available for consumers, Pawscam may be too niche for this niche.
If you want to help PawsCam become a reality, you should pre-order pronto. The pre-order price for 1 PawsCam is $99 with additional discounts if you buy in sets. The estimated retail price for the camera is $200.