Added 27 January, 2014
Trends can be recognized when many types of the same thing start happening at the same time. So it is with Web-enabled devices that invite pet owners to interact with their dogs and cats via video, even from the office or around the world. Some devices we have identified and written about that are part of this recent trend include PetCube and KittyO, two gadgets that let you watch, talk and play laser games with your pets. The latest entrant in the category is PetChatz, a videophone with a color screen and camera that also diffuses alluring scents and dispenses treats, so you can reward your pet from afar. Operated from either a computer or mobile app, PetChatz calls your pet to "chat" with a unique ring tone and allows users to record "conversations" to save and share. Does everything have to have a social component these days? What remote pet plaything will they think of next? We don't know, but we're sure it's coming.