Best of CES 2023: Pet tech's smart collar, litter robot

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FluentPet dog communication buttons are on display during the Pepcom Digital Experience before the start of the CES tech show, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS – From a litter box that automatically cleans itself to buttons designed to allow your dog to communicate with you, this year’s CES tech show in Las Vegas featured a range of products aimed at gadget-loving pet owners.

Big and small companies representing everything from the food to the automobile industries put their latest products on display at the show, which wrapped up Sunday.

While some of the products are already available for purchase in the U.S., others, like Ilume's smart dog bowl, are not yet.

But whether you're hoping to keep your dog on an optimum diet, or you want to avoid the unpleasant work of cleaning your cat’s litter box, there are a lot of gadgets out there aimed at making pet owning easier.

Here are some of the pet tech products showcased at CES:

A FITNESS TRACKER FOR YOUR DOG

If you wonder what your dog is doing while you’re not home, French startup Invoxia has a product for you. The company’s smart dog collar monitors your pet’s activity and sleep, sending the data to your phone.

The latest version unveiled at CES, which has a GPS tracker, includes more advanced heart health monitoring.

The collar is $149 in the U.S., with a monthly $8.25 subscription for an app that monitors the data and shares it with your veterinarian.

‘TALKING’ PETS

Have you ever wondered what your dog would say if it could speak to you?

FluentPet promises the next best thing — buttons the company says you can train your pet to push if it’s hungry, needs to go outside or wants to play.

The buttons come in a hexagon-shaped plastic mat the company calls a hextile. Hextiles can be connected to each other to form a bigger collection of buttons.

“We find that actually, when dogs kind of know that they’re being understood because they have the precision and specificity of the buttons, then they complain less because they’re no longer wondering whether they actually communicated what they wanted to,” said Leo Trottier, FluentPet CEO.

At CES, the company announced FluentPet Connect, a new app that notifies owners when their dog presses a button and collects data on how the buttons are used.

Fluent Pet’s starter kit comes with hextiles, a speaker and six buttons for $159.95. The app does not require a subscription.

AN APP TO ID YOUR PET

If you ever wished that you could have a simple way to find your pet when it’s lost, this South Korean app is offering a solution. Powered by AI technology, Petnow helps you create an electronic identification for your dog or cat.

For dogs, the app uses a nose print. For cats, it captures their entire face. Petnow’s purpose is to reunite owners with their pet after they have been lost by making it easier for other people to identify them. The app lets users create a profile for their pet and, in case of an emergency, report their lost pet through the app. The mobile app is free and available for both Apple and Android mobile devices.

SELF-CLEANING LITTER BOX

If you get tired of cleaning your cat’s litter box every day, Whisker offers a solution. Litter-Robot is an automatic self-cleaning litter box for your cat. Because it’s an automatic machine, Litter-Robot reduces the odors inside your home. The litter box is Wi-Fi enabled, which lets users keep track of the waste and litter levels through an app. Whisker also presented its Feeder-Robot, an automatic cat feeder, at CES. Litter-Robot can fit up to four cats and doesn’t need a special type of litter. The latest version of Litter-Robot costs $699 and the accompanying app is free.

A SMART FOOD BOWL FOR YOUR DOG

If your dog had a very active day at the dog park, he might need more food than the days he naps on your couch all day. Ilume, an Australia-based company, created a smart dog bowl and collar duo to help you find the amount you should feed your dog each day. Through their smart collar, Ilume assesses the caloric needs of your dog and then sends the information to the bowl. Users only have to press a single button on the bowl and it will indicate the correct amount for the day. Ilume also has a free app so pet parents can see the exercise and health data collected from the smart collar. Ilume is expected to launch soon in Australia, with hopes of expanding to the United States in the near future.