Petcube is known for making high-tech gadgets for pets, be it a box that automatically dispenses treats or a laser cam to entertainment your kitty or pup while you're away from home. This year, the company is releasing upgraded versions of them, and they're called the Bites 2 and the Play 2 respective. The key feature? Both are now powered by Alexa.
That means that instead of just pressing a button to lob a snack at your precious doggy, you can say something like "Alexa, tell Petcube to feed my pet." Petcube tells us that the devices will also support all the other 50,000 or so Alexa skills, like playing music, controlling your smart lights and listening to the weather. I'm not sure why anyone would want to use their pet-treat camera to tell them the weather forecast, but hey, it's there if you want it.
Both devices have other upgrades too, like an extended wide angle lens with a 180-degree room view. They also have a 4-microphone array, and 5GHz WiFi support. The Bites 2 treat cam has an updated flinging mechanism that lets you better control portions (so instead of lobbing out 12 at a time, you can now just throw a single treat) and apparently a greater arc trajectory as well. A spokesperson demonstrated this for me at CES, and it launched the treat so high that it almost hit me in the chest. The Play 2, on the other hand, has a far smoother interactive laser motion -- swiping your finger along the controls will result in a faster laser response time with less lag.
Other features include 1080p HD video, 4x digital zoom, night vision, and the ability to get real-time smart alerts like if your dog is barking its head off at something. Both the Bites 2 and the Play 2 will be available in "matte silver" and "carbon black" later this spring. The Bites 2 will retail for $249 while the Play 2 is $199.