Samsung, the South Korean personal electronics behemoth best known for its oversized TVs and for unleashing the scourge of the selfie on the world, has gotten into the doghouse business.
But wait! Before you throw Miss Bonbon’s perfectly good kennel out the smart window along with your Galaxy S5 …
Samsung (mercifully) conceived the doghouse — the Samsung Dream Doghouse, as it is being called — as a one-off PR stunt/social media contest prize at Crufts, an annual canine confirmation and trade show in Birmingham, England. Before the features of this slick pooch shelter, a shelter that took six weeks, a sizeable design team and nearly $31,000 (!) to construct, are discussed, I must reiterate that it’s a one-off and will not be commercially available (or at least not until pigs fly and drones take over our dog-walking responsibilities).
The kennel’s over-the-top design concept wasn’t based on the specific housing needs and wants of its hypothetical four-legged residents but, rather, on the needs and wants of their humans projected upon them. Because really, if you were to design a doghouse based strictly on what a loveable mutt really desires, you’d end up with an oversized cardboard box filled with ratty old cushions and some high-quality chewies. Dogs crave love, affection and unlimited belly rubs from their people — things that aren’t so easily incorporated into a tricked-out canine clubhouse.
Yet according to a Samsung-conducted survey that polled 1,500 dog owners, 64 percent of pooch parents believe that their dogs would benefit from the presence of more tech and gadgets, including tablet computers and TVs. “From dogs who have social media profiles, to owners who use video calling to check on their pet while away, technology is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life,” proclaimed Andy Griffiths, president of Samsung U.K. and Ireland, in a press release.
And so, the Samsung Dream Doghouse puts tech front and center. In addition to a sound system, one of the main features of the concept is a built-in Samsung Galaxy Tab S located in the bone print pillow-strewn “rest and relaxation” area that allows pooches to cozy up and watch “Air Bud” or reruns of “Judge Judy” after a long, hard day of napping and urinating on inanimate objects. "The Samsung Dream Doghouse looks sleek and modern, featuring the kind of tech the discerning dog of the future will need,” said Griffiths.
Korea Bizwire goes as far to call the kennel a "a smart dog house that puts smart homes to shame."
However, the dog owners polled by Samsung are also firm in the belief that a fantasy doghouse shouldn’t just provide comfort and tech-based distractions. It also should promote health and wellness. This explains the presence of an AstroTurf-clad doggy treadmill (a feature requested by 25 percent of dog owners polled) and a hydrotherapy pool (requested by 18 percent of dog owners polled).
And because there’s nothing dogs like more than chowing down, another section of the Samsung Dream Doghouse, separate from the lounge area, includes a paw-operated kibble dispenser. Now that's just asking for trouble.
The Samsung Dream Doghouse is on display at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham through March 8. It’s worth noting that Samsung isn’t simply a random exhibitor at the Kennel Club-hosted Crufts, an annual event billed as the world’s largest dog show. Somewhat surprisingly, the company is also a key sponsor alongside companies such as Purina, Eukanuba and Agria Pet Insurance and has had a presence at the event since 1993.
Do you think your pooch needs more tech in his life? Or is he content with a tattered old blankie, a head massage and a nice long walk in the park?
Related on MNN:
- Petwalk: A draft-free doggy door for energy-efficient homes
- D.C. luxury development to entice renters with shared puppy
- 10 wacky pet accessories