Smart Cat Food Dispenser "Bistro" Actually Live-Streams And Facially-Identifies Your Kitty
Good news, cat owners: You might've cleaned up your cat's puke for the last time. A Taiwanese company has created Bistro, a cat food dispenser with facial recognition that helps your cat with portion control and weight management. You probably should get one of these smart feeders if your morning routine looks something like this: Your cat wakes you up with his incessant meowing because he's hungry; you go to pour more food into his bowl; he practically knocks you out of the way and starts greedily munching; a few minutes later you're squatting and wiping his puke off the floor. Cats are lucky they're so cute.
The Bistro smart feeder can hardly be called a food bowl. Its features include facial recognition technology that can tell your felines apart (if you have more than one), a scale that tracks your cat's weight, a camera that can live stream his meals (in case you really feel like watching him eat from the office), and a social network that connects you with other cat owners (if that's what you're looking for).
Bistro creator Mu-Chi Sung has been raising cats for a long time, and one thing he's noticed is that some of his beloved pets were getting sick and passing away without showing any symptoms until it was too late. Since cats can't communicate with us directly, Sung created the Bistro to do it for them.
"I love my cats, and they're family to me," Sung says in the promotional video for the Bistro. "But a cat doesn't speak for himself. That's why we need Bistro to speak up for them."
The Bistro's Indiegogo price is $179, but the expected retail price is $249.
It Helps Each Cat Eat Fairly
If you have more than one cat, chances are one of them is a little more dominant, which means a daily battle at the food bowls. The alpha cat just loves to eat everyone else's food, and there's only so much monitoring you can do before you have to go and do your human stuff.
With the Bistro's facial recognition technology, it'll dispense the appropriate amount of food to each cat, and if it sees that one has already eaten his portion, it will cut him off. When the unfed cats finally get their turn at the bowl, the feeder will recognize them and start dispensing.
It Stops Your Cat From Being A Fatty
If it were up to your cat, he'd gain 100 pounds and do more of what he does best: laying around. The Bistro acts like a veterinarian by recording his weight and food intake over time and turning it into graphs with the free Bistro app. This recording is crucial in monitoring any appetite or weight changes that could signal illness.
It Helps Your Cat Pace Himself
Perhaps the most frustrating part of feeding your cat is the inevitable vomit clean-up that comes with it. The Bistro will make sure your cat doesn't overeat or eat too fast; it dispenses small quantities of food at a time, forcing your cat to pace himself. Plus, it monitors how much food your cat eats during each session, so it knows when to cut him off. Can they make these for humans, too?
You Can Live-Stream Your Cat
So besides making sure every cat has eaten, monitoring their weight, and managing portion control, the Bistro also acts as a communication device for you and your cat. If anything changes in your cat's appetite patterns, for example, the Bistro will notify you on your smartphone. The feeder's built-in camera also documents your cat's every meal, so if you're missing him while on vacation, you can watch him eat. Which is weird, but sure.
It's Also a Social Network
The Bistro's app lets you to create a profile of your cat with his picture and feeding history. Then connect with other cat owners in Bistro's online community and subscribe to each other's posts (if you want to go there). You know you've always wanted to create a Facebook for your cat, so now's your chance!