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New pet tech includes smart dog collar, cat litter robot

Pet tech made itself present at this year’s CES tech show in Las Vegas

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FluentPet dog communication buttons are on display during the Pepcom Digital Experience before the start of the CES tech show, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Las Vegas.
FluentPet dog communication buttons are on display during the Pepcom Digital Experience before the start of the CES tech show, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) (John Locher/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

LAS VEGAS — From a litter box that cleans itself to buttons that allow your dog to communicate with you, this year’s CES tech show in Las Vegas featured products aimed at gadget-loving pet owners.

Big and small companies representing everything from the food to the automobile industries put their latest products on display at last month’s show.

While some of the products are already available for purchase in the U.S., others — like Ilume’s smart dog bowl — are not yet.

But whether you’re hoping to keep your dog on an optimum diet or you want to avoid cleaning your cat’s litter box, there are a lot of gadgets out there aimed at making pet ownership easier.

Here are some of the pet tech products showcased at CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show):

Fitness tracker

Ever wondered what your dog is doing while you’re not home? French startup Invoxia has a product for you. The company’s smart dog collar monitors your pet’s activity and sleep, sending the data to your phone.

The latest version unveiled at CES, which has a GPS tracker, includes more advanced heart health monitoring.

The collar is $149 in the U.S., with a monthly $8.25 subscription for an app that monitors the data and shares it with your veterinarian.

‘Talking’ pets

What would your dog say if it could speak to you?

FluentPet promises the next-best thing: buttons the company says you can train your pet to push if it’s hungry, needs to go outside or wants to play.

The buttons come in a hexagon-shaped plastic mat the company calls a hextile. Hextiles can be connected to each other to form a bigger collection of buttons.

“We find that actually, when dogs kind of know that they’re being understood because they have the precision and specificity of the buttons, then they complain less because they’re no longer wondering whether they actually communicated what they wanted to,” FluentPet Chief Executive Officer Leo Trottier said.

At CES, the company announced FluentPet Connect, a new app that notifies owners when their dog presses a button and collects data on how the buttons are used.

FluentPet’s starter kit comes with hextiles, a speaker and six buttons for $159.95. The app does not require a subscription.

An app for ID

A South Korean app offers a simple way to find your pet when it’s lost. Powered by AI technology, Petnow helps you create an electronic identification for your dog or cat.

For dogs, the app uses a nose print. For cats, it captures the entire face. Petnow’s purpose is to reunite owners with their pet after they have been lost by making it easier for other people to identify them. The app lets users create a profile for their pet and, in case of an emergency, report their lost pet through the app. The mobile app is free and available for both Apple and Android devices.

Self-cleaning litter box

Whisker’s Litter-Robot is a self-cleaning litter box for your cat, helping to reduce odors inside your home. The litter box is Wi-Fi enabled, letting users keep track of the waste and litter levels through an app. Litter-Robot can fit up to four cats and doesn’t need a special type of litter. The latest version costs $699, and the accompanying app is free.

Whisker also presented its Feeder-Robot, an automatic cat feeder, at CES.

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