Speak Dog? No More Woof Translator Coming Soon!

by Mary Haight on January 4, 2014

speak dog What is your dog trying to tell you when he rips up your magazine? What is he thinking as he sits and stares at you for what seems like no reason? If you’re like most dog lovers, you don’t speak dog, but you’d like to find some answers. You may have worked on one or more ways to better communicate with your dog — learning the ins and outs of body language, reading books on how to speak dog, maybe you’re even keeping track of developments in science on the human-animal bond, all with the hope of doing a better job as a pet parent. Might cracking the language barrier between species really call for another kind of Rosetta Stone?

Speak Dog Has A Whole New Meaning

A Swedish group, The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NSID), say they’ve got a dog translation device on their No More Woof website currently in version 3.2 and it’s capturing the imagination of many. By combining the latest technology from three different areas, an Electroencephalogram(EEG), the latest in micro-computing technology, and brain computer interfacing (BCI) software, dog’s thought patterns are analyzed and translated into human language via a speaker attached to the unit.

Worn around the back of the neck and head of the dog, some dogs might not tolerate it, though it is supposed to be lightweight and unobtrusive. The good news is it comes in three versions: micro, standard, and superior priced at $65, $399, and $1200 respectively, with a low enough starting price-point that you might want to give it a try.

In the last ten years, the group’s website reminds, we have seen great advances in the mapping of the human brain’s functions, down to the specific electrical signals in the brain defining tiredness, hunger, curiosity, and time for a bathroom break. As different as people are, as each dog is from others, these basic electrical signals occur in all mammals and can be read by an EEG. Placing the electrodes in the right position (and on fur) for the best reading is the trick.

Important Outcomes

NSID are careful to warn that all versions of this product are in the first stage of development and as such are rudimentary in their class, working prototypes, comparing their product to what we know to be the difference between the first computer and today’s models. They are inviting dog lovers to become part of their vision and support their project as they improve it.

While No More Woof is in its nascent stage with the dream of two-way communication shining somewhere in the distance, there’s another application the creators have considered — a device that will allow injured pets to control artificial limbs. Check out their website for more details, or if you’re inclined, pre-order a device from their Indiegogo page, and learn which models have upgradeable software and discover other products this group has produced.

We may know sooner than we think what our dogs really want as the science advances, and perhaps all be speaking dog with the No More Woof translator!

Hmm, hope I don’t find out my dog is overly influenced by television commercials, armed with a list of things he wants but doesn’t need. I guess as long as he doesn’t learn to use the computer or the phone, I’m safe…

(Photo: No More Woof)

20 comments
pet care
pet care

This is a breakthrough technology which will redefine the dog-human relationship.  It's easy to love our dogs without really knowing what they think or want.  Once we start discovering that a sweet stare actually means "I hate dog food, but I love your spagetti with meatballs"

NuvetReviews
NuvetReviews

Wish to see the technology helping humans to communicate with the dogs. I will help train our pets better. It will be really interesting...

The How To Dog
The How To Dog

Sounds interesting! I don't think my dog would put up with wearing it though.

Kate Wellington
Kate Wellington

It's great to see the potential of technology that could change our lives. Imagine a world that dogs could talk to humans! er..it's no more imagination and is gonna be reality soon..! After all, if man could not communicate with his best friend, what else would make him happy? This is gonna be the best dog product ever made! I'm so excited, my dog Kid will soon be talking to me!!!

CocosMommy
CocosMommy

So interesting!  Thanks for sharing!

peggyfrezon
peggyfrezon

I will be curious to see how this goes as they continue studying. As I look at it, I know my dogs wouldn't keep it on. But if it could be helpful in some studies by compassionate, caring scientists, it may be a good thing. I couldn't see it being used all the time with our companion dogs though.

dancingdogblog
dancingdogblog

OMD -- Leo, how perfect is that! Wonder if Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy's author would allow...I think that name would make the device fly off the shelves LOL Thanks for giving me a second laugh for the day -- the first was your post remembering Viva's keen sense of timing in the morning whirlwind of a busy household :) Thanks for the visit!

roxythetravelingdog
roxythetravelingdog

Do we really want to know? LOL. I'm pretty good at figuring out what these guys are thinking most days. 

Kenzo_HW
Kenzo_HW

I wish they would have called it "Babelfish", in which case, I would have to have it.

somethingwagging
somethingwagging

I saw research the showed that most people, including non dog owners, were quite good at interpreting barks. I wonder if such a technology is even necessary. 


Of course, it's very  necessary for the inventors and stockholders. :)

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@pet care This is very exciting, and as the creator scientists say, soooo much more work needs to be done. It's exhilarating, innovative thinking and really great to know that during the research and development period toward the goal, they are discovering parts  of their project may be key to other science projects. And yes, I believe I have seen that stare you mentioned, the one so many dog parents are somewhat unnerved by -- I think we'd all like to know what that's about, besides maybe looking to us for entertainment =)

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MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@The How To DogI would bet if they continue to refine this, it will be less and less intrusive, but yes, as it is now it gives me that impression too. Thanks for stopping by =)

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MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@Kate WellingtonTechnology advances are fascinating, aren't they? Pet Tech is coming up with some pretty interesting innovations, though the inventors website says it will take more than this tool to feel as if your dog is really talking to you, lol! I am excited too, though, because more people are attempting to understanding how dogs see the world and bring those results to dog lovers. Thanks for stopping by!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@peggyfrezon It would definitely be a short-term experiment on Tashi...he even hates having his top knot rubberband put in and throws his head in a pillow/corner of the couch attempting to dislodge it (I never make it tight, so that's not the problem) :) But yes, I'd like to keep tabs on this and see where it goes! Thanks for stopping by Peggy!

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MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@Kenzo_HWThis is what I get for commenting via mobile...I obviously typed in the wrong box, LOL! Please see above :D

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MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@somethingwaggingI saw that research too. Since the inventors themselves say this is rudimentary and more a novelty for now, the money funds continuing research on breaking the language barrier between humans and other mammals. The equipment being developed can play more than one role.


Heidi Harley, a comparative cognitive psychologist at New College in Sarasota, was interviewed by Live Science re dolphins and what strides have been made in communication and said that we know very little about how dolphins classify their own sounds -- more perceptual studies are needed and this equipment could help.


The other applications that could come from this seem legitimate and worthy of mention. I keep in mind that not everyone who has a dog or is thinking of adding a dog to their family is on the same wavelength as pet bloggers or others in the pet industry. Pet tech is an interesting field and if you're into technology some of these steps forward make you smile. I like to pass that on.Thanks for stopping by =)

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MelF
MelF

@MaryEHaight @somethingwagging I think that anything that allows us to better understand animals in general is a good thing. I can see how it might be seen as just a novelty item (similar to the camera someone bought me so I could place it around my dog's neck), but the information to be gained could be quite interesting. I love science. 

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@MelF@MaryEHaight@somethingwagging Thanks for your comment, Mel -- I love science too! I do understand how people might, at a quick glance, be skeptical as to value, but if you look a little deeper you might find a bit of gold ;)

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