Have you ever wondered what your pet gets up to when you’re not around? Maybe shoes are going missing and you think your furry friend is the culprit. Or maybe your cat’s poker-face makes you wonder whether it is really her knocking things off the counter or if building your house on an old graveyard really wasn’t the best idea. Maybe you just want to know what life looks like through the eyes of your pet.
No matter your motivation, Eyenimal video cameras can help you experience the world as your cat or dog. These cameras are lightweight and durable, and provide a unique (if dizzying) perspective of the world as your pet.
The cameras come in three designs: the general Petcam, the Dog Videocam, and the Cat Videocam. The original Petcam is ideal for cats or smaller dogs and was awarded “Best Pet Product” by the Global Pet Expo in 2011. It weighs only 35g (1.2 ounces) and is 60x45x15mm in size (that’s about 2.25×1.77x.6 inches). The camera includes an integrated microphone, 4GB of memory, and its battery will last up to two and a half hours on one charge. The Petcam has the lowest video resolution of the three Eyenimal offerings, coming in at 680×480 pixels.
The Dog Videocam and Cat Videocam are designed to meet the specific needs of those types of pets. For cats, this means smaller size (the cat model is only 41x44x23mm and weighs only 32g), night vision up to 2 meters, and a built-in motion detector to determine when the cat is sleeping and stop recording (essential for cats, of course).
The Dog Videocam is more suitable for larger pets, and is the biggest model at 84x22mm and 63g. Eyenimal has accounted for the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of bigger dogs and has made the dog model 100% waterproof. Additionally, the dog camera has 3 recording modes which are based on a built-in motion detector: continuous, when the dog is moving, or when the dog is pointing. Both the cat and dog models have a video resolution of 736×480 pixels.
The appearance of the cameras is minimal and fairly modern. The devices are black and silver with the company name printed on their fronts. The Petcam and Cat Videocam models are compact and rounded, while the Dog Videocam is elongated and more tubular. The cameras have clips attached to them which can be affixed to most standard collars and the clips are adjustable to ensure that the camera will stay in position.
The cameras are not connectable to Wi-Fi networks, so to retrieve the video their pets have taken, owners must plug the cameras into their computers via USB cable. The cameras are compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
Specs aside, how do the videos turn out? Basically, they look like they’ve been filmed by an animal. The camera bounces around on the animal’s collar and watching too much can make the weak-stomached (this writer included) a tad bit motion sick. However, as silly as it may initially seem, there is a novelty in being able to view the world through the eyes of a housepet.
For example, check out the video below in which a cat climbs up a tree onto the roof of a house (this happens around the 45 second mark). The video almost seems to reveal the cat’s thought process as she looks at the tree, then a window, and then the roof, landing her gaze on the tree again before running up it. It’s simple but telling, and the action shot of the cat actually climbing the tree is undeniably exciting.
The Eyenimal Petcam is selling for $99 through Dogtek, which is currently the only place you can find it on sale in America (there are considerably more distributors in Europe). Is the camera worth that price? The video quality is decent and the footage is definitely interesting (though nauseating) to watch. However, it will likely be hard for most consumers to justify a $100 price tag for a high-tech novelty which could potentially fall off the collar of a particularly wily pet. That being said, if you find yourself curious about how your pet sees the world and have $100 to spend on a high-tech toy, go right ahead and buy an Eyenimal pet video camera.
(But don’t be surprised when your friends and family aren’t terribly interested in watching Fluffy’s latest adventures in the backyard.)
What do you think about this product? Would you ever purchase a video camera for your pet? Let us know in the comments below.