Obi — A Smart Laser Toy for Pets [Kickstarter]

Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost, the super-nice guys behind Studio Neat, are no strangers to Kickstarter. They’ve used it to launch many of their cool products:

And now they’re back with another project: the Obi, a beautifully designed laser pet toy, controlled and programmed via an app for iPhone and iPad.

We like to spoil our pets with toys, but one thing we have noticed about the pet toy market is the vast majority of them are, well, underdesigned, to put it kindly. We wanted to design something that you’d be happy to invite into your home.

Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt

Obi is a small black or white device (with a natural cork face) that sits on a shelf or mantle in your home and, when activated, shoots a laser onto an opposing wall. From the iOS app, you can control the laser as though it were a cursor and your touchscreen a trackpad, which is pretty cool. The real magic, however, is in Obi’s Automatic mode, where it runs on its own according to behaviors and a schedule you’ve set. It can play a programmed sound to let your pet know it’s time to play, and you can even create a boundary that the laser will stay within (which is great if the “play wall” is on the smaller side).


We wanted to design Obi to be a beautiful object that you’d be happy to display in your home. The design is neutral, so it won’t clash with your surrounded decor.

Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt

In addition to the Kickstarter campaign, Tom & Dan have started a new podcast with our friends at Relay FM, called Thoroughly Considered. It documents the entire journey of building Obi, from ideation to backer fulfillment. Discussions they record during development are woven together with new conversations with Myke Hurley, including every bump and hiccup along the way. Listen to the first episode here.

If Obi succeeds as a Kickstarter project, its eventual retail price is likely to be $100. If you back the project now, you can get an Obi of your own for $80.