Is the loneliness of dogs left alone at home? Thanks to a still experimental device developed by the University of Glasgow, faithful four-legged companions will be able to video call their masters and interact remotely.
The “dogphone” was invented at the University of Glasgow (Scotland, United Kingdom) by Ileana Hirschkiss-Douglas, an expert in animal-computer interaction, who seeks to improve the lives of animals through technology, with the help of Jack, his 10- year-old Black Labrador, and colleagues from Aalto University in Finland.
about this “The first system of its kind to allow animals to use the Internet to communicate with their owners”The University of Glasgow said in a statement on Wednesday.
Its inventors hope that the dogphone, which continues to be used during the pandemic, will help alleviate the separation anxiety of the large numbers of dogs that have become accustomed to the ubiquity of humans during confinement and after returning to office. find himself alone.
The system consists of a ball equipped with an accelerometer, which when shaken by the dog triggers a video call to its owner via a laptop computer connected to the device. The owner can also call his animal, who is free to ignore or answer the call.
After being shown how to use the ball,“lab assistant” Jack was given back to play with him for 16 days over three months.
Despite a few casual calls, the Labrador used the prototype to contact their owner and show them the toys they often play with together, “Suggesting that he wants to have a conversation with his boss”According to the press release.
Ileana Hirskij-Douglas shows her her workplace, a restaurant, and even a street musician, prompting her pet to prick her ears and go on screen.
“Of course, we can’t be sure that Jack is aware of the causal link between taking the ball and making the call, or that even some seemingly casual interactions are actually coincidences.”, commented the researcher.
“But it is clear that in some cases he was genuinely interested in what he was seeing, and adopted some of the same behavior that he shows when we are physically together.”, she added.
Amateur web specialist. General food junkie. Typical zombie enthusiast. Avid music trailblazer. Lifelong explorer.