Do you know anyone who wants multiple pets (e.g. a cat, a dog, a fish), but only really has space for one? Thanks to augmented reality, the multi-pet-owning dream can come true!


Many people enjoy performing the stewardship of a beastly animal companion, generally referred to as a “pet.” Some people even like to have more than one pet!

The Issue:

It can be expensive and labor- and living-space-intensive to own multiple pets. For example, a single cat might be manageable, but owning a cat, and a dog, and a fish, and a bird, and a snake? This situation is probably just too much for most responsible pet owners.

Nevertheless, many people still wish they could have more than one type of pet.


We can fix this issue with the power of augmented reality!

The solution is so simple: the pet-owner must first acquire a single pet that can have varied behaviors during the day. (An especially-active cat or especially-relaxed dog might be good choices.)

Then, the user dons an augmented reality headset that shows their pet as a different animal under different conditions (Figure 1).

Fig. 1: Here, the user’s “actual” pet is a cat (center, red), but the user will perceive this creature as a different type of animal, depending on the cat’s behavior. For example, when the cat is curled up in a cat bed, it will be displayed as a snake (bottom left).


This system would also make it possible for any user to have 90% of the experience of owning an exotic and/or otherwise illegal-to-own-in-most-jurisdictions pet, such as a panda (fluffy dog → panda), elephant (large hairless dog → elephant), or tiger (basically any cat → tiger).

PROS: Brings exotic pet ownership to the masses with relatively few ethical concerns!

CONS: In order for the pet to be properly tracked by the augmented reality system, it might be necessary to glue some ping-pong balls (or other trackers, maybe QR codes) to the pet.