12:30 22nd Nov, 2021
Dogs can monitor their humans with this revolutionary new device | TechTree.com
Dogs can monitor their humans with this revolutionary new device
The DogPhone is a phone for dogs that will allow them to check on their owners.
A ton of research has gone into creating tech for humans to check on their pets, but what about the other way around?
This concept has been developed by Dr Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, a researcher at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Zack is her 10-year-old Labrador.
The DogPhone is made up of a small ball equipped with a sensor and connected to a laptop. When a dog moves the ball, the Dog Phone will initiate a video call with the dog’s owner. Moving the ball will answer an incoming call, if the dog wishes to answer your call.
The DogPhon wasn’t originally intended for commercial use, it was invented as a way to study the way dogs experience technology and how they can use it to their benefit.
In prototyping the device, Hirskyj-Douglas that she sought to improve and study the user experience for dogs, given how many of them were placed in new homes during the covid induced lockdown in 2020 that saw an increase of people getting pets.
“I’ve been building devices for my dog and many other dogs for quite a while now,” Hirskyj-Douglas says. “I think a lot of these devices are really important to give dogs choices or options to do things for enrichment reasons.”
Hirskyj-Douglas says it was “very exciting” to receive video calls from Zack at first, but she would feel anxious when he wouldn’t call at a regularly scheduled time, which made her think that something was wrong.
“It became a bit more anxious for me near the end because sometimes I wouldn’t get a video call or he wouldn’t ring me through the day, and I would be thinking, ‘Oh, he usually rings me at this time,’” she said.
But do dogs even understand what they’re doing when they place a video call? Or have they accidentally butt-dialed? Do they even have the desire to “check up” on their humans when they are separated from them? Do they prefer Android or iOS?!
These are the questions DogPhone seeks to answer, and perhaps those questions will be answered in the future.
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