JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Give the dog a phone: device could ease pain for lonely mutts

Give the dog a phone: device could ease pain for lonely mutts

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 12:07 GMT+7
Give the dog a phone: device could ease pain for lonely mutts
Inventors hope the DogPhone device could ease separation anxiety suffered by 'pandemic puppies' who became used to human contact during lockdowns. Photo: AFP

Does your chihuahua crave a chinwag or the Yorkie want to yak, the greyhound needs to gossip and the corgi loves a chat?

Lonely dogs could soon be able to call their absent owners using a new device invented by animal-tech scientists in Britain and Finland, they said Wednesday.

The DogPhone works when the pet shakes a ball fitted with an accelerometer, which triggers a nearby laptop to make a video call to the owner's device.

It was invented by the University of Glasgow's Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, with help from her labrador Zack, and colleagues from Aalto University in Finland.

After Hirskyj-Douglas showed "lab assistant" Zack how to make a call using the ball, he was given the toy to play with for 16 days.

Despite being hounded with some accidental calls, Zack used the prototype device to contact his owner and show off his toys.

Hirskyj-Douglas, a specialist in animal-computer interaction, responded by showing the pet her office, a restaurant and a street busker, causing Zack to approach the screen.

"Of course, we can't know for sure that Zack was aware of the causal link between picking up the ball and making a call, or even that some of the interactions which seemed accidental were actually unintended on his part," she said.

"However, it's clear that on some occasions he was definitely interested in what he was seeing, and that he displayed some of the same behaviours he shows when we are physically together."

The team hopes the DogPhone, which is undergoing further testing, could help ease separation anxiety suffered by "pandemic puppies" who became used to constant human contact during lockdowns.

AFP

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news