We're willing to part with a lot of cash when it comes to our pets - we forked out over $72 billion on them last year - and tech companies are looking to get in on the action. Petcube, makers of one of the first interactive pet cameras, has returned with refreshed versions of its Bites and Play products.
The Bites 2 lets you remotely dispense treats for your dog and watch them chow down, while the Play 2 is a much smaller device with a laser toy that can be controlled from your phone, so you can play with your furry friend remotely. Both have been upgraded to a wider 180-degree camera view (up from 138) and built-in Alexa.
Read this: The best pet cameras and treat dispensers
Weirdly, the cameras are limited to 160 degrees at launch, but the company says it will roll out an upgrade in Q4 that will unlock the full view and add the ability to pan the camera around the room. The company promises 1080p HD live streaming video alongside two-way audio, so you can chat with your moggy or pooch from afar.
Meanwhile, the addition of Alexa means you can use your pet cam as a smart speaker for controlling home devices and suchlike. Plus, the current Alexa Skill for dispensing those delicious rewards or activating the laser will now work directly on the device, so no need to have a smart speaker nearby when you want to avoid fumbling with the app.
We tried out the first version of the Bites dispenser, and despite our dogs loving it we felt it was overpriced for what it offered. It also had pretty terrible video quality, but we have higher hopes for the latest edition.
The Play 2 costs $199 and the Bite 2 is $249. You can also pay for the company's Petcube Care plans, which add smart alerts, longer video history, and other perks, starting at $3.99 a month.