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Petcube's WiFi camera lets you play with your pet, remotely

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Sometimes your Tuesday is going horribly and the only way to fix it is face time with your four-legged best friend. We've likely all been there. Petcube wants to help make those bad days melt away with its WiFi-enabled pet camera. More than simply offering video and two-way audio communication via smartphone app (both Android and iOS are supported), each camera has a built-in laser pointer that you can control remotely by dragging your finger across your mobile's screen. We saw it in action with cats in San Francisco (pictured above), and it was pretty cute watching felines chase around a red dot controlled by one of Petcube's employees standing next to us at CES in Las Vegas. The outfit says you can grant access to your camera, too, so people besides you can, say, exercise your pets if you're a bit too busy. Naturally, they just need to download the app to their device of choice.

Anyone with pets knows how mischievous and clumsy they can be, however, and that's where the device loses its luster. As you can see above, the device is relatively big (measuring 4 x 4 x 4 inches), but it also feels fairly hollow and light. A cat could very easily paw it off a shelf and a dog's tail knocking it off a table seems extremely possible. I asked Petcube's on-hand representatives if the cameras could take a fall without sustaining any damage -- the front looks to be glass while the case is aluminum -- and was told that a tumble could destroy the device. That seems incredibly shortsighted for a gadget aimed at pet owners. At the moment there aren't any concrete first-party plans for protective cases, either. If that doesn't deter you, the Petcube's second production batch will be available next month for the very Dropcam-like price of $200.

Mat Smith contributed to this report

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