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Pet owners rejoice — Petcube is here to answer the ultimate question: what does your dog or cat do when they’re home alone? Now you’ll know because this wireless video streaming camera lets you see what your pets are up to. It is definitely one of the best pets gadgets every pet owner should have.
Shaped like a cube, the front consists of a wide angle high-resolution (720p) fixed focus lens — this gives a clear and encompassing view of whatever it’s aimed at (just a little distorting at the edges as is always the case with w/a lenses). Below is a low-powered safety red laser — no it’s not there to attack intruders, but to provide some quality fun time with a cat. For a dog, not so much.
Download the free app (iOS/Android) because it won’t work without it. My iPhone’s ready to go, so I placed the cube at one end of the kitchen and plugged it into an AC outlet through the included USB cable adapter. I later discovered that there’s a tripod mount on the bottom, but don’t expect it to stand on a mini-pod easily; this 4 x 4 x 4-inch cube is seriously heavy aluminum. And when I say “AC” I mean that the Petcube needs the full power coming from the wall outlet — connecting it to a USB socket on a laptop won’t cut it.
Related: Also read the Dog E Minder review
Setup is echoed by a color LED strip at the cube’s bottom. After pairing it first with the cube’s own WiFi, I transferred the signal to my home network. Oh — I also registered with the company since the streaming goes through their servers. Once done, I accessed the Petcube and could see that the image was well defined and clear. I watched my dogs walking through the kitchen with what seemed to be only a very slight delay — maybe not super-smooth but not those jerky movements one’s come to expect from video streaming using a home camera either.
I left my apartment later and used a Starbucks WiFi to access the Petcube. Again I saw a clear picture and the movements of my dogs as they went back and forth through the kitchen had the same frame rate as when I was right there. I turned on the “Sound” setting — this let me not only hear what was going on but also speak to them — they found this intriguing since they couldn’t find me (don’t use this when nearby because it will cause horrible feedback). I also worked the laser and made a red dot appear at a few places on the floor and kitchen cabinets: the dogs noticed it and one yawned. So yes, not having a cat does make the laser superfluous. Oh – tapping the screen while watching the video feed saves what is seen as a picture/snapshot too.
Petcube doesn’t have any ongoing fees or monthly subscriptions. So the cost of $199 is all you’re paying for. So yes you can now put a price tag on piece of mind when the pets are left home alone.
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