The mysterious red dot is back. All the time.
That’s what your cat will think, but in reality you’ve probably just installed a Kittyo, a new gadget that enables cat owners to play with their cats remotely.
Through the Kittyo app for iOS and Android, you can use the device as a laser pointer, watching your cat go bonkers chasing it. You can also record video, speak to your pet, and dispense treats through the crowdfunded pet gizmo.
Above: The Kittyo
Image Credit: Kittyo
At 7 inches tall, Kittyo attaches to shelves and walls to ensure it’s impervious to your cat’s curious bats. The gadget looks a bit like a coffee machine — but it’s obviously way cooler, because it has a laser.
The eponymous pet-tech startup on Monday launched a Kickstarter campaign, which hit its $30,000 goal in an absurdly fast 36 minutes, according to the company. Five days later, the campaign total stands at $177,119 raised, nearly six times its original goal with four weeks of crowdfunding left.
“We’ve had an incredible week since we launched on Kickstarter just 5 days ago,” the Kittyo team wrote in a Kickstarter update Saturday. “With [over] 1,600 backers and more than $175,000 pledged already, we couldn’t have dreamed of a better launch. We hope we can maintain this incredible momentum for the next 27 days.”
The startup is offering Kittyos to campaign backer who plunk down at least $139 (though there are still some available a lower ‘early bird’ price). The company expects to ship Kittyo to backers in November. To learn more about Kittyo, check out the video below.
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Among the freebies included in Samsung’s just-released Galaxy S5 was a new app from Lark, a health startup that’s been pretty quiet for the past year or so.
In fact, co-founder and CEO Julia Hu told media website TechCrunch “pretty much in stealth mode” as it worked on the new app. The vision, she said, is still the same — the company is still trying to provide “personalized health coaching” that’s aimed at people who are less interested in counting their steps and more in general health and wellness.
Secret and Whisper, the current favouruits of the anonymous messaging market, are all about broadcasting your innermost thoughts or general gossip in a feed format.
But the founders of Truth created an anonymous messaging app that sends private missives to people on your contacts list. It's incognito one-on-one messaging between friends.
When you send a "truth," you are assigned an anonymous username and avatar (one of an assortment of playful owls). If the recipient already has the app, the message will show up in the app's inbox. If they don't, a text message will display part of the "truth" and prompt the recipient to download the app.
Twitter has acquired Cover, an Android lock screen app, the two companies announced Monday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
Cover was founded by former Google employees and launched on an invitation-only basis in October. Cover displays the six apps on the Android lock screen that users are most likely to want to use, based on daily analysis of the user's smartphone habits and the current context (whether you're at home, work or driving somewhere). The app attracted "hundreds of thousands" of users prior to the acquisition.
If its good enough for Facbook...
Chinese online retail giant Alibaba has jumped into the messaging market with a $215 million investment in Tango, a four-year-old messaging and social-networking app.
Part of a total fundraising round of $280 million, the investment provides Tango with capital to compete in the increasingly high-stakes competition between messaging apps that has blossomed outside the U.S.