Catching bugs and other critters to keep as pets in an old mason jar never works out for the best. That’s why the Jarpet concept seen above is such a great idea. It displays a 3D image of an animal that kids (and adults) can interact with while learning about their development.
Designed by Zhang Di, Zhao Tianji, Ma Yinghui and Cui Minghui, the Jarpet is a 2012 Red Dot design award winner. It’s essentially a 3D projector that connects to the PC via USB. Users can access online “Jarpet shops” that provide 3D image data for a variety of animals, letting people choose their pets based on their particular interests.
Being a virtual pet rather than a real one could also allow you to keep just about any size animal you want. While housing a real elephant in your home is clearly out of the question, a virtual elephant small enough to sit on a desk or table wouldn’t be a problem.
More than just entertainment, the Jarpet could be a great educational tool. For example, you could download a larvae or caterpillar and watch it grow into a butterfly. Many children who grow up in major cities don’t get to experience nature like those who live in more rural settings. Jarpet could provide a window into the animal kingdom without the cost or responsibility that comes with caring for a real pet.