Pets

Ingenious new DogPhone lets pets call their owners | TheHill – The Hill

Summary

Researchers with the University of Glasgow and colleagues from Aalto University in Finland created a new communication device for dogs that are left at home alone: the DogPhone. 

The DogPhone is a ball that houses an accelerometer, which senses movement, so when the ball is moved, a signal is sent to a laptop and a video call is launched. It also allows the owner to call the dog, although the dog needs to move the ball in order to answer the call.

“All this [existing] technolog…….

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Researchers with the University of Glasgow and colleagues from Aalto University in Finland created a new communication device for dogs that are left at home alone: the DogPhone. 

The DogPhone is a ball that houses an accelerometer, which senses movement, so when the ball is moved, a signal is sent to a laptop and a video call is launched. It also allows the owner to call the dog, although the dog needs to move the ball in order to answer the call.

“All this [existing] technology allows you to measure your pets’ steps or ring your pets or remotely give your dog food, but your dog doesn’t really have any choices,” Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, the lead author of the research, told The Guardian, adding,

“This is just one way to demonstrate that dogs can control technology. We can build technology for dogs.”


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Published Nov. 5 in the Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Computer-Human Interaction, the study was conducted over 16 days by Hirskyj-Douglas with the help of her 9-year-old black Labrador retriever, Zack, who was left alone for approximately eight hours at a time on testing days.

Hirskyj-Douglas was able to call and video chat with Zack and vice versa. However, the research noted that a majority of the calls Zack made to his owner appeared to be accidental. 

Still, Hirskyj-Douglas remains optimistic that the technology, which is not available for purchase, could be beneficial to dogs and other pets that experience anxiety when they are separated from their owner for extended periods of time.

“More refined versions of devices like DogPhone, built backed by further research into what dogs find appealing and comfortable, have real potential to turn the internet of things into a useful tool for animals, built around their needs and wants,” Hirskyj-Douglas told Glasgow Live.

The DogPhone and the study are being presented Wednesday at the 2021 ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces Conference in Poland.


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Source: https://thehill.com/changing-america/resilience/smart-cities/581955-ingenious-new-dogphone-lets-pets-call-their-owners

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