|The Satechi Smart LED Desk Lamp|
Courtesy of Satechi
One of Techeye’s cats – the one who only responds to the name “Optipuss Prime” – is suffering from depression. He’s been moping for weeks, sleeping longer and peeing on things that really shouldn’t be peed on. Like electrical sockets.
We’ve tried to cheer him up, but to no avail. Catnip does nothing. Pictures of lolcats in lingerie have no effect. We even tried grooming him, but Optipuss was not impressed. Even the giant hairball we coughed up earned but a yawn.
As we usually do when facing real-life problems, Techeye looked on the internet for helpful gadgets. We found some, too.
One promising item is the Satechi Smart LED Desk Lamp (Satechi.net). You know, in case Optipuss is suffering from seasonal affective disorder.
Unlike most of its kin, the Satechi Smart LED Desk Lamp (henceforth known as “the Lamp”) has a few features beyond its on/off switch. It boasts four lighting modes: reading, study, relaxation and bedtime modes, the latter of which “encourages deep sleep with a comfortable soft light.”
There’s also a rear USB port for charging mobile devices, a one-touch control scheme and a one-hour auto-off timer. The green-minded will appreciate that the Lamp consumes just one-eighth the power of a regular incandescent lamp and has a lifespan of over 40,000 hours. Cost: $99.99.
Now, our cat won’t care a whisker about any of that, but perhaps the extra light will do him some good. That USB port may also come in handy for charging the new gaming tablet we’re getting him.
Courtesy of Wikipad
You read that right. We’re getting our faithful quadruped a gaming tablet. Cats enjoy digital entertainment too, as evidenced by You vs. Cat (available for iOS and Android), a game published by chow-maker Friskies. The game is simple – human flicks things toward cat; cat attacks them.
But whatever, the point is to make our cat to feel special. None of the other cats in the neighborhood have their own tablet, ergo it is a good way to make him feel special.
Enter the Wikipad (Wikipad.com), a seven-inch, Android-based tablet that comes with a “unique, attachable game controller” and has nothing to do with Wikipedia.
The Wikipad packs 16 GB of memory (with a micro-SD slot for up to 32 GB additional memory), a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a two-megapixel front-facing camera and a 1,280 x 800 resolution display. The screen doesn’t stand up well against competitors in terms of resolution, but there’s a “scratch-resistant military-grade screen” which suits our purrpose nicely.
Unfortunately, the Wikipad isn’t available right meow. The seven-inch version launches this spring at a price of $249; a 10-inch variant is expected before Christmas. You vs. Cat should run nicely on either device.
Courtesy of Bitcraze
The last gadget we’re getting our beloved Optipuss is the Crazyflie from Swedish start-up Bitcraze (Bitcraze.se).
This bare-bones quadcopter resembles the lovechild of the Raspberry Pi “cheaputer” and the Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter. It fits in palm of your hand, has an average flight time of seven minutes (with a 20-minute charge time) and flits about like a mosquito on steroids.
A word of caution – the Crazyflie is sold in kits that require assembly, so you need to know your way around a soldering gun. There are two kits, costing $149 and $179 (the latter includes a 3-axis magnetometer and a high-precision altimeter), and you’ll need a PC to run the flight program as well as a PS3-compatible joystick to control it.
We’ll admit, the Crazyflie’s complexity gave us paws for thought. But our beloved friend is on the brink of catastrophe, no kitten. We’ll do anything to ensure he’s feline fine again … even write a bunch of clawful puns.
Any thoughts on how to overcome feline depression? Let us know: email@example.com
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