Highlights

  • Researchers created a hi-tech DogPhone for dogs to communicate
  • DogPhone a soft ball, when moved, sends a signal to a laptop that launches a video call

  • This technology allows you to remotely give your dog food & contact them

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Now dogs can give you a call, with their DogPhone

The device – nicknamed the DogPhone – is a soft ball that, when moved, sends a signal to a laptop that launches a video call, and the sound of a ringing telephone.

Researchers have created a hi-tech options for your left home alone pooch to communicate with humans; the invention of a ball that allows dogs to call their owners for their requirements.

The device – nicknamed the DogPhone – is a soft ball that, when moved, sends a signal to a laptop that launches a video call, and the sound of a ringing telephone.

The owner can choose whether to take the call, and when to hang up, while they can also place a call to their pet – although the dog has to move the ball to pick up.

This technology allows you to measure your pets’ steps or ring your pets or remotely give your dog food, but your dog doesn’t really have any choices, said Dr Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, of the University of Glasgow, and first author of the research used to create the device.

Giving animals choice and control had been shown to improve their welfare and wellbeing, said Dr Ilyena Hirskyj

The DogPhone considers both owner and the dog – and gives the latter a sense of agency, she said.

While a canine social media, or FaceBark, has yet to be created, Hirskyj-Douglas said she envisages a future where dogs could call each other.

The DogPhone underwent a number of iterations to ensure it had the right level of sensitivity towards movement – these were tested over 16 days by Hirskyj-Douglas and her nine-year-old black labrador, Zack.

The team say that many of the calls made by Zack – who was left alone for about eight hours during testing days – appear to have been accidents although they caution that may simply be the human perspective.

Hirskyj-Douglas said the technology could bring benefits to pets, in particular dogs who struggle with being separated from their owners – although she admitted the device had actually caused her some anxiety.

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