Wouldn’t it be nice if our dogs could talk back to us? One Georgia Tech computer scientist wants to do just that. Melody Jackson has created a wearable device for dogs that will allow the furry creatures to communicate with humans. She believes that the device could be used to help people with specific medical needs.
Already, diabetics often make use of trained service dogs. These dogs are trained to alert diabetics when their blood sugar levels fall to a point that requires intervention. However, sometimes diabetic shock occurs so suddenly that the patient passes out. The issue then becomes, how does dog obtain help for the patient when it cannot communicate for help.
But with Jackson’s new technology, dogs will be able to send proper messages to humans that could rescue their owner. The dogs would wear a computerized vest that features a mechanical lever. The dogs would be trained to find another human and pull the lever in the case of an emergency.
Pulling the lever triggers the audio message, “My handler needs you to come with me.”
This would encourage the person to follow the dog so that they can help out. Additionally, the device does more than just offer one emergency message. It can also trigger an SOS alert, complete with GPS coordinates.
And it’s not just dogs that are getting in on the phenomenon. Scientists are also creating systems to allow for the communication between humans and dolphins. And yet another project involves the creation of an interactive video game that would be enjoyed by humans and cats. However, most of the big projects involve humans and canines.
Another conceptual wearable device would allow seeing-eye dogs to alert their blind owners about obstacles in their direct proximity. Cancer-sniffing dogs are also being accommodated, as a proposed sensor would measuring the “sniffing patterns” of dogs looking for malignant tumors.
Still, we’re a long ways off from having a device that would let a dog or a zoo animal properly respond to the question of “Hey, how are you doing?” Nevertheless, it appears that technology will soon allow humans and animals to be closer than ever before, and it could save lives.