Internet-Connected Pet Feeder Goes Offline, Pets Probably Very Hungry

Here lies Sir Meows-A-Lot, beloved pet of Sally, Ted, Nancy and Job. He was a good cat who was stolen from us too early. Maybe if we hadn't bought an internet connected pet feeder before our holiday to the Bahamas, Sir Meows-A-Lot would still be here today. But we did, and then a network outage cut off his food supply. Rest in peace, buddy. Image: Getty

Sir Meows-A-Lot is a fictional cat I made up in order to write this blog, but if recent events are any indication, he could be coming soon to a pet cemetery near you. The Telegraph reports that Petnet — makers of a $US150 ($200) smartphone-connected pet food dispenser — suffered a service outage yesterday that reportedly left some pets without food for 10 hours.

Petnet CEO Carlos Herrera told the Guardian that the problem stemmed from the company's third-party server service — apparently rented from Google — which went down.

Per the Guardian:

Herrera claimed that about 10% of PetNet users were affected, and that the feeders can operate on previously set schedules without this particular third-party service, though users lose the ability to feed remotely or change the feeding schedule.

The automated feeder is connected to an app, which lets users control portion sizes and meal times, among other things. The company apparently advised customers to feed their pets themselves during the outage, which, you know, sort of defeats the point of having an app-connected pet dispenser.

According to Petnet, the servers eventually went back online:

Ten hours, of course, isn't a horrifically long time to go without food, but it doesn't bode particularly well for pets and the Internet of Things. What's next, babies? Oh.

[The Telegraph]

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