What would your dog say if he could talk? If you've ever asked yourself this question then you're in luck- a new device is being pioneered that would allow your dog to speak in full phrases. Many of us believe it is possible to know what a dog thinks or feels by observing their body language. The device, known as "No More Woof", applies a similar principle to determine your pet's thoughts based on the physical state of your dog, or more specifically, the state of his brain.
No More Woof has been in the making for some time now and is nearly ready for consumers. The device comes in the form of a sleek headset that can be easily placed onto your dog's head and fastened in place. Though it appears to be simple, sporting a sleek design, the technology behind this device is amazingly complex. To accurately determine your dog's thoughts, the device combines three cutting-edge technologies to achieve its result.
How it Works and What It Does
No More Woof promises to convey accurate, though general, phrases that convey your dog's innermost thoughts. That is, so long as your dog's innermost thoughts are as simple as "I'm curious who that is?" The headset comes preloaded with specific phrases that are matched to particular physical states in your dog. These preloaded phrases free up time to work on the crux of the technology, which measures canine brainwaves and interprets them to determine which phrase to play.
Using electroencephalography, the device senses the dog's brainwaves and relays them to a microcomputer that uses special software to interpret the data and output a proper response. The current prototype comes in three different varieties that offer different levels of complexity. The most affordable version, dubbed the NMW Micro, uses one sensor to distinguish between 2 to 3 basic thought patterns and is available for the modest price of $65.
A more advanced $300 NMW Standard, uses two sensors to achieve more accuracy and precision and distinguishes between more than 4 thought patterns. The final version is the most superior model- though it comes at the extravagant cost of $1200. This may seem a bit pricey considering that it costs four times as much as the NMW Standard but it is well worth the price. The NMW Superior uses algorithmic learning to achieve precision that is curtailed to your specific dog.
This algorithmic learning will allow the device to adjust to your specific dog's brain activity and personality. By collecting data over time, it can leverage enough information to string together short sentences that express more complex thoughts. The device itself is also fully customizable and includes a golden engraved dog-tag that acts as the device's speaker.
How it Started and Where It's Going
Though their website still indicates that the product is still in its prototype stage, it is likely that the first consumer-ready versions will be available soon. The makers of the device, The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery, have successfully met their crowd funding campaign hosted on Indiegogo. This accomplishment historically indicates that the project has been fully funded and that production is well underway.
Interestingly, their campaign has received more than twice its initial goal. That might mean that additional developments are on their way. Currently, the NMW Standard has 27 pending orders that it expects to fill during April of this year. Once this order is finished, the group will have to decide what to do with the additional funds it acquired. Fortunately, the team has plenty of ideas on how to use the technology to create a positive impact.
The No More Woof website has a list of future applications that the group hopes to achieve through further development. This list includes simple additions to their existing ideas, such as adding complex recognition and phrases, and more complex endeavors like two-way communication so that your pet can understand your commands or allowing handicapped pets to control artificial limbs or other tools.
This shows that these technological developments are not only capable of transforming the way we communicate with our pets; but it also shows that it could help improve the quality of life for animals (and possibly people) everywhere. What do you think of No More Woof? Would you pay money to have a conversation with your dog? Tell us what you think and email a comment!