Communicating with your dog? You might be able to soon
There is a team of engineers out there who are working on wearable technology that could help us to better communicate with our dogs.
I don’t know about you, but this is kind of how I imagine it going down…
Maybe somewhere in the future that’s how far this technology will get, but for now it’s a bit more straightforward than that. The device is about the size of a deck of cards and is fitted to a harness that the dog wears. Dogs communicate mainly using their body language, so the device has behaviour-detecting sensors that pick up their movement as well as physiological sensors that measure their heart rate and body temperature.
This information is transmitted to a device held by the owner, and is interpreted to determine the dog’s internal state. The handheld device can then communicate signals back to the dog using physical and vocal cues, from vibrating motors and speakers.
There are a huge range of uses for this technology, you can check it out here. For example, dogs that are part of search and rescue teams could wear the device. It can be tailored to their needs by including environmental sensors to detect hazards and a camera to collect extra information.
It could also be fitted to guide dogs so handlers can monitor their stress levels (guide dogs, and dogs more generally, are renowned for trying to hide their stress and pain from owners). It could even be fitted to dogs in shelters so the staff can have a better understanding of the dogs and what state they are in.
While we might still be a while away from having actual conversations with our dogs like we see in movies, this is a fantastic piece of technology with a great range of applications to help us better understand what is going on with our dogs.