Petcube Protect turns quirky cat toy into a full-on home security camera

Now, besides amusing your pets with a remote-controlled laser pointer, you can keep tabs on home security as well.

It’s as if the makers of Petcube said to themselves, “We’re already putting Wi-Fi cameras into people’s homes—so let’s just make them security cameras as well.”

At last year’s CES, I covered Petcube, a simple box-shaped camera with a user-controlled laser pointer for entertaining cats and dogs remotely. Well, this spring, Petcube is launching a subscription security service that, in many ways, turns Petcube into a Nest Cam competitor.

Let’s quickly review the hardware. The Petcube is a Wi-Fi camera with a 138-degree field of view. Through a mobile app, you can spy on your pets when you’re away, and control a laser pointer to keep them jumpy and active. See something cute? Then you can upload a photo or video of your feline or doggie in action to social media. And thanks to two-way audio, you can talk to your pets from anywhere in the world.

With Petcube Protect, the company adds security features via a software update. The camera has motion and sound detection, and will begin recording whatever it sees when it senses activity in front of it. Video is saved in the cloud, and users can archive that video for their own security records via 10- and 30-day subscriptions.

And here’s the clever addition: The laser pointer now has an auto setting, ending the tedium of actually playing with your pet on your own.

Subscribe to the Best of TechHive Newsletter