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Meet CleverPet, the Electronic Game That’s Like ‘Simon’ For Dogs

It’s 3 PM. Do you know what your dog is doing?

If the folks behind CleverPet have any say, she’ll be happily at home, whiling away the hours with her very own game system.

The device, which has been Kickstarted to the tune of $180,000, looks like a doggy dish with three paw-friendly touch pads on its front. It’s programmed with a series of games – introduced to your pooch in order of increasing complexity – that involve pressing certain pads in a certain order. When a sequence is completed successfully, the device releases a tasty food pellet. It’s not unlike the classic game Simon, but tuned for a canine brain.

CleverPet’s makers assert that the game is beneficial to your pet’s health. “We’re driven by compassion and curiosity to find a way to care for pets when they’re alone,” says co-founder Leo Trotter. In his view, a more engaged pet is a happier pet, and a happier pet is a healthier pet.

The device, which has just been awarded first prize in CES 2016’s LaunchIt competition, will retail for $299. If you’re intrigued, move fast: preorders are discounted by $30 until January 10.

As this 12-hour time-lapse video shows, CleverPet has the potential to be pretty addictive. Pet owners might fairly wonder whether overuse (and subsequent oversnacking) could offset those mental-health benefits the creators tout. I mean, think of it: dogs up at all hours, sitting slavishly in front of an electronic gizmo? Who do they think they are – humans?

(It’s not clear whether CleverPet works for cats — but, then, the felines seem pretty capable of amusing themselves with human-targeted videogames.)

You can email Gordon Cameron here.