Pets left hungry as smart feeder breaks

Image source, Petnet
Image caption,
Petnet advertises itself as an automatic feeder for cats and dogs

Owners of smart pet-feeding device Petnet were told to "feed their pets manually" after a server problem stopped the device from working.

Petnet allows owners to schedule and control feeding via a smartphone app.

Adam Simon, an analyst with research company Context, said it was important users "always had a manual back-up" for smart systems.

"Increasingly, people are becoming dependent on these smart objects, and that could become a problem," he said.

"In this case, your pet could be left hungry."

Media caption,
Technology explained: What is the internet of things?

Petnet, which now says all systems are back online, had previously told customers: "We are experiencing some difficulties with one of our third-party services.

"This is currently being investigated, and we will provide you with more information as we receive it from our partners.

"You may experience a loss of scheduled feed and failed remote feedings.

"Please ensure that your pets have been fed manually until we have resolved this issue."

Customer @alanzeino summed up the frustration of many, with his tweet:

Image source, Twitter

According to Context's latest research, 20% of UK homeowners are considering buying something "smart" for their home in the next year.

Popular items include:

  • smart plugs that disconnect devices inadvertently left on
  • motion sensors that detect intruders or inactivity among the elderly
  • moisture sensors that detect leaks

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