This Doggy Vest Lets Your Dog Talk To You!
Talking to dogs has been the dream of humankind ever since we started taming wolves and turning them into our faithful furry friends. Not only would it be super-cute, it would be very practical, too. Well, good news! With the latest advents in technology, it’s now possible to let your dog talk to you! Well – sort of.
Introducing “Fido,” a smart backpack designed to bolster the abilities of service dogs in areas such as search and rescue, medical care and bomb-sniffing. Some of its functions are sending the dog’s GPS coordinates, letting the animal deliver messages as well as calling emergency services. The concept was dreamt up by the director of the Center for Biointerface Research at Georgia Tech, Dr. Melody Jackson, who has been training assistance dogs for more than 20 years now.
“Fido” isn’t just a random cute dog name, mind you. F.I.D.O. stands for Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations, and it works by employing sensors that the dog can activate by tugging, biting or touching them with their nose. The sensors then trigger a verbal command which the dog’s handler can hear through an earpiece or see on a head-mounted display, similar to Google Glass. It will also be possible to transmit video from a dog’s perspective to a human observer.
Jackson used epilepsy alert dogs as an example of the usefulness of this new technology. These dogs are trained to sense oncoming seizures and push their owners against a wall to prevent dangerous falls from happening. The dog could be taught to auto-dial 911 with the help of Fido and get assistance in an emergency such as this. The vest could also be programmed to help the dog alert nearby humans and ask for help using a verbal command.
As for search and rescue operations, the GPS sensor could be activated so that their handlers can keep track of the dog’s location, even when traveling longer distances. It could prove resourceful for bomb-sniffing dogs that are often trained to recognize different types of explosives. Using Fido, they would be trained to relay all of this information to a human so they’re better informed of the dangers of the situation. It could even be used by pet dogs to tell their owners that they’re hungry or that they need to go outside.