Feline facial recognition feeder paves way for quantified cats (Wired UK)

Bistro: The Smartest Cat Feeder. Ever.Meow B.

There’s no need to be a tiger mother to check your feline friend
is feeding properly — all you need is a Bistro smart cat feeder,
which will keep track of your kitty’s tuna intake for you and allow
you to observe your cat’s diet history on your phone at a
convenient moment.

And it gets better — if you have more than one cat, the feeder
will keep track of each creature individually using advanced cat
facial recognition tech. The feeder can potentially be used by
unlimited cats, but three is considered the optimum number given
the amount of food the system can hold.

An Indiegogo campaign is underway to fund the final stage of
development
and is already nearly halfway to hitting its
$100,000 (£584,000) fundraising goal with 30 days remaining.

The Bistro smart cat feeder was inspired by a real cat that goes
by the name of Momo. Momo was near to death due to starvation and
dehydration, but made a miraculous comeback, which you can read
about on the Bistro team’s Indiegogo page. The idea was the
brainkitten of Momo’s owner Mu-Chi Sung, who founded a company
called 42ARK to stop other cat owners around the world from going
through the same thing he did with Momo.

“As cat parents, we all try our best to keep our little pals
happy and healthy,” the Indiegogo appeal begins. “With Bistro,
we’re building a closer relationship between you and your cats, one
that not only provides you with a more intelligent, complete and
quantified view of their health, but also keeps them happier and
healthier than you’ve ever been able to before.”


42ARK


As well as allowing you to check your cat’s food and water
intake, the Bistro app (which will be available on Android and iOS)
will allow you to watch your pet from wherever you are while it
eats lunch. If there appears to be any change to your cat’s health
status you will receive a notification immediately. You will be
able review eating and drinking habits over the course of the day,
week or month — or use it to show to your vet how your cat has
been getting along.


ARK24


The feeder is constructed from a range of different components.
As the cat eats it has to stand on weighing scales, allowing you to
keep track of weight gain and loss over time. In case your cat gets
hungry or thirsty during the night, LEDs will guide the cat towards
it in the dark. As the cat pokes its head through the feeding hole,
sensors in the feeding and water trays will allow you to measure
intake, and a camera can be activated to allow you watch your pet
masticating close up.


ARK24


This is also where the cat facial-recognition function is
stored. If the system spots a new cat, it will immediately prompt
you to set up a new profile — so you’ll also find out which of
your neighbours’ pets are crawling through your cat flap.

You can adjust the system to make sure that it only dispenses a
certain number of meals per day, or you can choose to inflict
portion control on your poor puss. Apparently over 57 percent of
cats in the US are overweight, which seems like an awful lot, but
maybe that’s why it’s time to take action.

You can support the project on Indiegogo with perks starting
from $5 (£2.92). If you want to score a Bistro smart feeder for
yourself you will have to pay out $179 (£104) for the privilege. An
extra $40 will get you a Bistro tent to shelter your
contraption.

Remember that while the facial recognition technology does also
work for dogs, the system is designed for cat-sized animals and the
food that they eat. If you are interested in a canine version
though then do get in touch with ARK24 — apparently the team might
consider building a doggy Bistro too.

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Source: wired.co.uk
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