This Canine Backpack Allows Dogs To Speak With Their Humans
If given the chance, most dog owners would talk to their dogs. Though this is something we have already seen in sci-fi movies, it seems that the future is here and that we will soon be able to speak with our canine friends.
Researchers from the Center for Biointerface Research at Georgia Tech are currently working on a ‘backpack’ that allows animals to deliver voice and text messages, contact emergency services and send their GPS coordinates. They are focused on service dogs and what they could do with such a device in areas that include bomb-sniffing, search and rescue operations and medical assistance.
Dr. Melody Jackson, the director of the Center, put forward such an idea after training assistance dogs for more than two decades. She aptly named the backpack Fido, which stands for Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations.
The contraption features sensors that dogs can easily activate by biting or even touching parts of it with their nose. In return, these sensors activate verbal commands, which the dog’s handler can either hear through an earpiece or see on a device that will probably resemble Google Glass. The researchers are hoping that the backpack could even transmit videos that would show the dog’s perception to their humans. Jackson told NPR’s Arun Rath that the point of the research is to put the technology to dog clothing.
She gave an example how this backpack could actually save lives. For instance, when an epilepsy alert dog senses an upcoming seizure, they will push their human against a wall to prevent injury. However, if these dogs had Fido, they could activate a sensor that would use their owner’s mobile phone to call for help. Moreover, the dog could also locate another human and activate a sensor that would say that their owner needs assistance.
When it comes to search and rescue dogs, they could activate GPS sensors so that their handlers would know their coordinates at all times. As far as bomb-sniffing dogs are concerned, these pooches usually know what type of explosive they’ve found. They also know whether an explosive is stable or can’t be handled. Thanks to the backpack, they could alert their handlers of the type of device and tell them if it could be safely deactivated.
Finally, ordinary pet owners could greatly benefit from Fido at some point in the future. Jackson pointed out that dogs could tell their owners when they are hungry or need to go to the toilet. What’s even more fascinated is that Jackson believes dogs will do all of this (and more) with text messages.
Would you like to talk to speak with your dog? Tell us what you think!