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.
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)