An inventor in Mexico has developed an electronic, Bluetooth-based device to dispense pet food using a smartphone, according to a December 2019 press release from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). The inventor, Yair Ramos Tellez, is an alumnus of UNAM’s science faculty.
Although there have been a few previous innovations with the same purpose in Mexico, this device provides an additional feature that opens the door for mass commercialization. Ramos’s device aims to deliver specific pet food amounts at different times during the day. Consumers can easily control how much food they wish to release from the dispenser, and when.
This gadget targets dog owners who are regularly away for work and come back late in the evening or at night. The pet owner can program the feeding times before they leave home.
In other information, according to trade sources, the best way to feed a dog is at specific times, because this helps the pet develop a habit. Moreover, it optimizes the intake of food per day, avoiding overconsumption and related ailments, such as obesity.
Ramos’s invention includes a kibble deposit, a motor that controls the dispensing mechanism and, lastly – the most relevant and innovative part – application software that works for smartphones and tablets. The food dispenser has a total capacity of 3 kilograms of pet food and works for all pet food brands and kibble sizes.
It is quite common in Mexico that dog owners who are away leave their dogs locked alone in their homes all day long. Even though thousands of dog walkers take care of and feed others’ dogs, the automation of some pet care activities, including feeding, will likely become mandatory in the coming years.
For these reasons, such high value-added solutions as a pet food dispenser need to be encouraged and further promoted. Moreover, like any other innovation, successful launch in the market depends on financing, and most likely, on the support of a big pet food brand.
Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has collaborated on hundreds of research projects for several consumer goods industries. He was granted the Global Consultant of the Year award by Euromonitor International and authored the book 17 Market Strategies for Growth (in Spanish).
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