Hong Kong

Over the years our faithful canine companions have been granted all manner of gizmos and gadgets in the name of keeping them healthy, loyal and feeling loved. But there is one thing that has still remained out of reach from Man’s Best Friend.

Dog’s have never had their own social network. That is, until now.

New video streaming and monitoring company Hubble showcased their range of networked and cloud supported pet accessories at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair & ICT Expo this week. Hubble partnered earlier this year with manufacturers such as telecommunications veteran Binatone (owner of brands such as AEG and The Brick) and PetSafe to produce a series of products designed to allow owners to monitor, check up on and talk to their pets using only a smart phone.

One such product is a new generation of networked doggie doors, produced by PetSafe. The doors, which come in a variety of sizes to suit every pet great or small, monitor each time their pet passes through the door and which way they are going. This information is then put into a log that is easily accessible by they owner wherever they are, allowing them to see just what their dog has been doing.

PetSafe Doggie Door
PetSafe Doggie Door

A representative for the brand also confirmed that future iterations will see features such as temperature and weather monitoring incorporated, in tandem with the ability to lock the door remotely. In essence the door could alert the owner if it was raining, let them know whether their dog was currently inside or outside, and them give them the ability to lock the door completely or only from one side (allowing a now very happy and wet dog to go inside but not to return back to playing in puddles).

This smart door can be complemented with state of the art cameras produced by Binatone, licensed manufacturer of Motorola remote cameras, which can also be linked with the Hubble network. Motion sensors in the cameras can monitor just what is going on in each room, and then Hubble can send that alert straight to the home owner. Then, via the app, users can control the camera from their smart phone to see and hear if anything is amiss first hand.

In the case of the household pooch, the cameras will now be able to let owners know exactly where their pets are in the house. And in the event that Fido is curled up on the bed or couch again, the owner can link straight to the nearest camera and scold him using its internal speakers. Or, if the carrot works better than the stick, owners might want to connect to their Hubble-linked and PetSafe made treat dispenser to distract their dog and entertain them if they are bored.

PetSafe Treat Dispenser
PetSafe Treat Dispenser

But what has this got to do with dogs logging into Facebook? During a conversation with Appliance Retailer, Binatone global marketing director Simon Lorenz informed us that the next logical step for all the information being gathered about your pet by the Hubble network was to be able to upload that data in real time to your favourite social networks, or even a dedicated ‘Petbook.’ “Your dog could go outside to run around, and then all the Hubble linked devices could tell which pet it was, what the weather was like, and then post on your dogs behalf ‘Rex has gone outside to enjoy the sunshine,’” said Lorenz.

While being able to hold a conversation with our favourite animals is still likely a long way off, getting to read about just how much your grandmother’s cat Mittens is enjoying her nap could be closer than we think.

A mockup of 'PetBook'
A mockup of ‘PetBook’