Feeling guilty about leaving Sparky home alone while you head off to work?
Well, a new app may help solve that separation anxiety. Called iCPooch, the app works with a tablet computer to allow an owner to video chat with his or her pet. They can even use it to control the release of a dog or cat treat on occasion.
"The point of having a dog is to interact with him and spend time with him," said Brian Stump, a Hoboken, New Jersey, dog owner who used iCPooch. "When you spend eight hours a day away from him, it just helps to bridge that gap."
His dog, Walter, a frisky rescue puppy, clearly responds when his owner appears on the screen. He rushed over to the device and snapped up the treats when they were dispensed.
"It's really cool," Stump told CBS News' Kris Van Cleave. "It's really funny to see him react to it. He hears you. He sees your face. I think the big part of the confusion for him is he can't smell you."
The iCPooch didn't come from a tech company. Rather, it was the inspiration of a 14-year-old Brooke Martin, who was feeling anxious about being away from her beloved dog Kayla.
She recently displayed the iCPooch at the Purina Better with Pets summit in New York.
"I felt so guilty that I had to leave her alone all day depressed by herself," Martin said. "I thought it would be great to connect with her while I was gone."
With her father's help, Martin built a working prototype. She has already sold hundreds online and hopes to have a version on store shelves by the holidays.
for more features.