Technology is growing at an inconceivable rate. Most of our favorite things are already connected to the internet. Of course there is social media and email, but we also have smartphones, smart televisions, and even vehicles that are completely connected. So why shouldn’t man’s best friend be connected too?
Erik Eidus and Kardarp Jani, co-founders of PupPod, don’t think that fantasy is too far off. In fact, their goal is to create a computer for dogs. Eidus says that the pair believes that dog products will be connected to the internet in the very near future and that there is a large opportunity to invent applications and a user interface that are specifically designed for canines.
Eidus and Jani came up with the idea for PupPod together and created their first prototype last year. The dog toy is an internet-connected, multi-level game and learning system for dogs. The dogs are told what to do through a series of audio commands and are rewarded with treats when they complete the tasks successfully.
PupPod has been tested by over 100 dogs, and the device recently took home the audience choice award at TechCrunch’s Seattle pitch-off a few months ago. The duo plans to launch the product on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter next month.
Eidus describes the PupPod as a computer gaming and learning system for dogs. He says that the system has multiple levels so dogs have to keep thinking and build on their current understanding to continue earning dog treats. The device is also equipped with a video camera so that pet parents can watch their dog play the games while they are away from home.
He says that the inspiration for the design came after Microsoft released the Xbox Kinect, which does not require players to control the game with the use of a handheld remote. Eidus said that it was then that he wondered why dogs couldn’t play video games if they no longer required a remote. That idea actually turned out to be terrible, but it got the pair thinking of a way to develop dog products that could be connected to the internet.
Eidus also says that one of the most important things about the PupPod is that they have applied the principles of user centric design in its creation. That means that it is specifically designed from a dog’s perspective, not the owners’. He says this allows them to polish subtle details of the user experience that will only matter to the dog using it.