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Petcube's Latest Device Lets You Feed Fido from Afar

Want to feed Felix or reward Rover, even when you're not at home? Petcube's newest gadget, the Petcube Bites, is Internet-connected and will let you remotely monitor, play, and even dispense treats to your furry friends through a smartphone app. The Petcube Bites recently launched on Kickstarter, and is due out later this year for $249, along with the Petcube Play ($199), which is much smaller, but lacks the feeding mechanism. We had a chance to go hands—and paws—on with both.

The Petcube Bites operates similar to the Petzi Treat Cam: It has a camera with which you can remotely view your pets and even chat with them, and it also has a built-in treat dispenser for feeding the furballs from afar. Compared to the Petzi, the Petcube seems more solidly built, and has a sleeker, more modern design, the bottom half being made of metal (it comes in black, silver, or rose gold), and the top half in black plastic. The Petcube Bites hopper seems a bit larger, and it has a sensor to tell you when you're running out of treats—you can even connect it to Amazon Dash, to automatically re-order the goodies.

The camera on the Bites has a resolution of 1080p, and has a night vision mode. Like the Petcube Play and original Petcube, it also has a small laser, which you can control remotely from your smartphone. The Petcube Bites is due out in January.

The Petcube Play is essentially the second version of the original Petcube, with a few improvements. For starters, it's a bit smaller (3 x 3 x 3 inches), and has a plastic, rather than a metal case, which should help improve its Wi-Fi range. The camera has been updated to 1080p from 720p, and now has a night vision mode so you can see what your nocturnal felines are up to after you go to sleep. As with the original, the Play has a small laser which you can move using your phone's touchscreen, or set it to autoplay if you're feeling lazy. The Petcube Play will be available this fall for $199.

Petcube has also rolled out a new feature that turns all of its devices into security cameras. Petcube Care lets you set up any of its devices to record video when it detects noise or motion, then store the clips in the cloud. Subscriptions cost $10 per month for 10 days of storage, while $30 per month lets you access 30 days of recordings. You can also set the app to alert you—or not—when the camera picks up something. While there's a free 30-day trial, unfortunately there's no free version of the service. Still, if you primarily use your security camera to see what your pets are doing, this could be the purrrfect device for you.