FIDO’s speaking dog tech gives man’s best friend a voice

Dog Up

Wearable tech has become some kind of wonder for us all. From Google Glass and friends to smartwatches and gesture armbands. They’re all being experimented with — trying to make our lives more efficient or simply just more exciting. FIDO, though, is meant for mankind’s faithful hounds. This technology could let your dog communicate specific commands by triggering certain sensors and could help save lives.

It just so happens that one of the brains behind Google Glass, Thad Starner, and fellow research scientists Clint Zeagler and Melody Jackson are working on including our much-loved furry friends in this technological leap toward wearable gadgets.

This gadget is not meant for your espresso seeking, fashion trending humans. It’s way more important. FIDO will help your dog become something like a super inspector dog. The research, known as Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations, aims to improve the way dogs communicate with people (most likely their trusty handlers).

As MIT Research notes, this communication process is done by “activating a sensor on their vest or collar to transmit command the handler can hear through an earpiece or see on a head-mounted display.” The dogs can activate these sensors by biting, tugging, or putting their mouth nearby.

Do note that while this device won’t let your dog tweet or help you find out where you’ve parked your car, it could help save and improve lives. The research found that this technology could help anyone from disabled people to police officers or bomb squads.

It’s finally happening! Okay, not as literal but getting there.

The biggest issues facing the wearable tech industry are battery life and durability. We know that while Google Glass has gone through its share of fashion and privacy controversies, the FIDO definitely won’t need to worry about this for the time being.

Other advancements in canine tech include Dr. Paul Waggoner (yes, he’s got wag in his name) of Auburn University’s doggy backpacks, which uses GPS technology to help people guide dogs. You can listen to more about that here.

So while humans are making more and more exciting advances in tech, it seems that we’re not likely to leave man’s best friend behind just yet.

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