A simple laser light is a surefire way to entertain cats (and most dogs), but it gets tiresome for the human operator after a while. As with most thing in life, the old toy has received a modern “smart” update, this one in the form of Obi, a small cylindrical toy that sits on a mantle or shelf and zips a laser around on your behalf. If you want to get in on the action, there’s an app to take control.
Obi is a simple device — it features a modern, minimalist design. You won’t guess what it is just by looking at it. When activated, it shines a laser around the room to entertain pets. It can be set to do so automatically in different styles (slowly or frantically, for example), and within certain boundaries so that your pets don’t tear the room apart trying to get the light.
The device is complemented with the Obi iOS app for iPhone and iPad (Android app is planned); with it, the pet owner can set the device to “automatic” or “manual”. The first of the two will trigger the laser to work according to the parameters you set up — the speed, pause frequency, pause duration, and travel distance.
You can also set up a schedule so that pets are entertained while you’re away. The manual model is simpler — you drag your finger across the screen like a trackpad to control the laser. A sound can also be set up to notify the cat or dog about when it’s time to play.
The team behind Obi is seeking seeking $120,000 USD on Kickstarter, where they have so far raised about $11,000 USD with 30 days remaining. A pledge of $80 USD will get you a single Obi device, which is estimated to retail for $100 USD when (if) it launches. The estimated delivery date is July 2016.