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Petcube Play review

Posted on 13-May-2017 16:53 by M Freitas | Filed under: Reviews

Here's an idea: get a WiFi camera, add something we all know pets love to play with (laser!), overlay a social network for pets and a sleek design. You get Petcube Play.


Petcube play is a different take on remote monitoring. It's not a WiFi security camera (although it does detect movement and records in low/no light conditions), instead it's squarely aimed at pet owners who worry about their fur babies being left behind at home and want to interact with them even while away.


With Petcube Play you get to check on your pets at any time or get notifications when movement or sound is detected. You can talk to your pets using two-way voice or remote control the built-in laser.


And yes, it's fun. The app works both to monitor your own pet(s) or to peek into other people's pets (providing they made the stream available to Petcube app users). And depending of the settings you get to talk to their pets and play with them by remote controlling the built-in laser beam, just like you'do with your own.



The laser is an interesting concept - we all know how (most) cats and dogs love chasing the red dot around the floor and walls. Once you install your Petcube you can "calibrate" the laser (something like "training it") by following on-screen instructions. Basically Petcube moves the laser dot around and you have to tap on the screen of your smartphone where you can see it. This helps the Petcube learn the physical dimensions and structure of the area that's covered by its field of vision. There's a bit of latency ("lag") between you tapping on the screen and the laser actually moving. You can see this clearly if you are at home and try it - it's just a fraction of second between you touching the screen and the red dot moving around the room, to the position your finger touched on the screen.


You can connect to your Petcube Play from anywhere with an Internet connection (either mobile data or WiFi) and interact with your pet using voice and/or the laser dot. You don't need to configure your router or firewall and no need to configure port forwards or any complicated network setup.


The app has different areas to called "Play", "Feed", "Explore" and "Care". In the "Play" area you can see other people's live cameras. (and interact with their pets if that's how they set the stream). The "Explore" area is like an Instagram for pets with photos posted by other members in the community.


The "Care" area is where you will find your recordings. You can set the Petcube to look for movement and record a short video - including a notification if you want, or you can disable this feature. Petcube offers limited storage (four hours) or you can pay a subscription to have either 10 or 30 days video history stored in your account.




With a 1080p stream, a wide 138 lens, up to 3x zoom and night vision, the video quality is really good - obviously affected by your connection speed at home and your own mobile device's.


The Petcube itself is a small, stylish gadget - it measures 3" square and has an aluminium body, with a rubber non-slip bottom so it won't scratch the surface where you put it - or you can use a tripod (not included) and position it at an angle if needed.


It comes with its own USB wall adapter but any good USB adapter with 5V/2A output will power it just fine - in my case it came with a US plug but I just used one of the many USB adapters around the house.


Initial setup is really easy and you can get it out of the box, up and running, in a matter of minutes. Recommended.


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