Would You Pay $3,000 For a High-Tech Pet Door?

This is not a rhetorical question

High-tech pet door
The Pet Portal in action

What happens when the parts of life governed by the Internet of Things branch out to include your pets? No, this is not about a next-gen Aibo, though those do exist. Nor is it about security cameras capable of dispensing dog treats. Instead, it’s about a newly unveiled automatic door to let your pets in and out of the house — taking a nominally simple task and making it both high-tech and more secure.

Pet doors can be a useful feature for homeowners who might be away from home for much of the day: dogs and cats can come and go as they please via the traditional version. But these have also raised some concerns over whether they make homes vulnerable to burglary. Alternately: what if there was a way for you to make sure that your pet door was only being used by, well, your pets?

At The Verge, Sean Hollister has the details of Chamberlain’s myQ Pet Portal. Essentially, it combines elements of garage door openers and pet doors, and it’s packed with high-tech components. Hollister lists a number of them in the article: “twin 1080p cameras that beam encrypted video to your phone anywhere in the world via Amazon S3 servers, IR and light-touch safety sensors to avoid pinched tails, microphones and speakers to talk to your pet, plus the encrypted Bluetooth Low Energy beacon that goes around your dog’s neck.”

The result of their work is a full-size door with a panel that opens and closes. Prices start at $2,999. That doesn’t factor in the need for a professional installation; given that the door requires power to operate, this is a bit more complex than your average back door to configure. Still, the story behind its development is fascinating, as are the ways it has turned the concerns of dog owners into an intriguing product.

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