When I first saw the Aqara Smart Pet Feeder C1 my ears pricked up as if my dog heard the words 'dinner'. It's an automatic cat and dog feeder that can be set up to work with the Home app and Siri, and I thought it was a great idea. HomeKit has come a long way from smart light bulbs, now you can control curtains, heating, doorbells, and even your pet's feeding patterns. And with devices getting Matter support, we'll see even more smart products in the Home app soon. Imagine never again having to weigh your dog's food or automatically feed it when you're out at a restaurant. It sounds great and I couldn't wait to set it up. This was simple, where it was your typical plug-in, download and sync app, similar to most smart home products on the market. To use the Pet Feeder C1 with HomeKit, you also need the Aqara Hub M1S, a compact smart home hub that works with all Aqara smart home accessories. Everything went smoothly. I'd found a spot for the food bowl in my kitchen, weighed my dog's food to make sure the scheduled feeding times would give him his daily amount, and couldn't wait to get things started. And then Pet Feeder C1 met Kermit, my sweet, demonic French Bulldog. And unfortunately he wasn't Aqara's biggest fan. (Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto) As soon as Kermit woke up on that bright spring morning, he walked to the door of the room where he slept and made the feline screeches he always does to warn my girlfriend and me that it's time to wake up - imagine an unpleasant morning rooster, but in your home and less than 10 meters away. After he went about his morning business, I took him into the kitchen, ready to show off the new technology that would make his life so much better. He would never worry about hunger again; it would be delicious. The Pet Feeder C1 started spitting out Kermit's kibble, all 80 grams of it, and then... nothing. My little energetic muscle just stared at the machine, and then he stared, and then he stared a few more times. Only then did I realize that Kermit was much more obedient than I had ever admitted to him. "Okay, go," and he ran over and started chewing his food. I was a little worried about his lack of urgency, but I thought it could be easily solved by adding the command to the Aqara app so that my voice would say "Ok, Go" every time the food was served. handed out. Unfortunately, the command wasn't the problem. A week passed with the Pet Feeder C1 dispensing kibble and Kermit grazing before refusing to eat more. Every night I moved the kibble to his other food bowl, and he happily chewed away, leaving the bowl clean. (Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto) to never have to worry about feeding my Kermit again, never having to weigh food again, and all the other first world problems I complain about daily. But unfortunately my dog seems to be the biggest technophobe I know, and he didn't share the same enthusiasm I do for a smart pet feeder. As a product, the Aqara Pet Feeder C1 is a great device that does exactly what it is supposed to do. The only caveat is whether your dog agrees. As Kermit approaches the age of two, I'm pretty sure he's the problem, not the tool trying to make his life better. So if you have a normal dog that likes to eat, the Aqara Pet Feeder C1 could be an excellent product for you. If, like me, you have a rebel for no reason, you might find yourself coming out of pocket and wishing your dog would understand how cool a smart life could be.
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