Does everything in the house really have to be smart and controlled via an app? The trend is certainly going in that direction. At a hardware event that also showcased the new Xiaomi 12T Pro and 12T smartphones, Xiaomi also showcased two devices designed to take care of your dogs and cats. Both smart and with app support, of course.
These are the ‘Xiaomi Smart Pet Food Feeder’ and the ‘Xiaomi Smart Pet Water Fountain’ – which do exactly what you’d expect from the names; more on that below. But the question immediately arises: does everything always have to be smart and connected? After all, I can just put the food in the “dumb” bowl. Or can the smart charger do something that I can’t? We take a look at what technical animal friends can do and if they have any advantages over conventional feeding.
This is the Xiaomi food charger
Let’s first see what the two devices can actually do. The Smart Feeding Machine actually works quite simply. You fill them with food and the machine spits out a certain amount of food at certain times. With the app, you can pull out more streams from almost anywhere.
You will also be notified here when the food supply in the feeder runs out, so you can refill it in time. A total of 1.8 kg of dry food fits in the machine, which should be enough for a few days, depending on species and hunger. According to Xiaomi, this is stored in a moisture-proof compartment, which keeps it cool.
A soft silicone feeding stirrer and measuring spoons are also installed. The wide shaft is designed to ensure the feed does not get stuck. If so, the animal should starve to death when you are away from home. According to the manufacturer, the device has been tested for more than 10,000 dosing cycles. The feeder is available now and costs around 130 euros.
The Xiaomi water fountain keeps the water moving
The Smart Pet Water Fountain seeks to simulate the water found in nature by creating a water cycle. This is how water gets oxygen and, according to Xiaomi, it appeals to animal instincts.
The small fountain filters the water to capture particles, hair and chlorine residue. Among others, calcium and magnesium ions, which can cause kidney stones in animals. Of course, you can also connect the fountain to the Xiaomi Home app. You will then receive notifications when the water needs to be refilled, the fountain cleaned or the filter needs to be replaced.
The fountain is also available immediately and costs around 80 euros.
Does everything really have to be smart and app-controlled?
Both devices promise to improve animal welfare through technology and connectivity. When it comes to the power device, I can see the benefits. If you are away from home for half a day or a whole day, the machine can arrange for the dog or cat to receive their daily rations at the usual time.
But I would really only use the device then. Because it’s always nicer to prepare the food yourself and bring it to the dog – in my case. He is happy and I can establish a connection with the animal. A feeding machine ruins this ritual.
However, if I’m not home for an appointment and can’t find a dog or cat sitter, that’s fine, and I can see on my smartphone if the machine is working as expected and if there is enough food for the dog. I wouldn’t use it for any other reason though. Go away for a whole weekend and let the Xiaomi Food Feeder do the work? Not possible, because a pet also has other needs. Unless it’s robot dog Loona.
With the Xiaomi Water Fountain smart water fountain, I have no idea if there is a purpose. I would say my dog is perfectly happy with unfiltered tap water and has had no problems so far. If it’s good enough for me, it shouldn’t harm my pet.
How great the benefit of moving water is, it’s hard for me to say without trying it. But again, I feel like the dog then goes to the water bowl and drinks something when he’s thirsty. Even if the water does not move.
What do you think of smart pet gadgets? Would they make life easier for you and your four-legged friend or are they superfluous? Let us know in the comments!