09. 02. 2008
Wuff! - Bowlingual dog translator device
Ever wonder why your dog barks for no apparent reason, thinks the UPS guy is an ax murderer, and howls when you leave?
Thanks to a Japanese toy maker, you can now now use his "Bowlingual" gadget to translate dog barks into human language. Frankly, I don't need this device; I know what my dogs are saying most of the time. (Note: that's Izzy pictured above, a beautiful bulldog we took care of for a few days when we were on the Cape. We own two rascally doxies.)
"PLEASE take me for a walk!"
"Squirrels are attacking the house!"
Bowlingual supposedly works through a 3-inch long wireless microphone attached to a dog collar; the microphone transmits sounds to a palm-sized console that is linked to a database. The console then classifies each woof, yip or whine into six emotional categories - happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, assertion and desire - and displays common phrases, such as "You're ticking me off," that fit the dog's emotional state.
Tokyo-based Takara Co. Ltd. says that about 300,000 of the dog translator devices have been sold since its launch in Japan last year, and with the United States being home to about 67 million dogs - more than six times the number in Japan - you can see why they think we're panting in expectation. For $120 you can buy it this summer .
I can hear my dogs now:
"You could have bought a lot of dog kibble with that!"