The Future Will See You Now

Woof: Wearable Computers for Dogs Are Coming

Talking to your dog is almost socially acceptable.

US-ATTACKS-BOSTON-WATERTOWNFirst, there was robo-cheetah. Now, get ready for dogs with face computers.

According to MIT Technology Review, researchers the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a system with the nifty acronym FIDO: “Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations.”

Primarily designed for service animals and bomb-sniffing or rescue dogs, FIDO will outfit pups with special sensors that will translate their movements into clear messages for their human handlers.

The early FIDO tests sound promising: three service dogs were equipped with a series of different sensors, and successfully learned to activate them by means of crafty canine mouth gestures. The researchers hope “FIDO could enable bomb-sniffing dogs to communicate with handlers remotely about what specific type of bomb they’ve encountered, and rescue dogs could remotely alert a human team that they’ve found an injured person,” MIT Technology Review reports.

For owners of un-extraordinary, non-drug-sniffing dogs, you’ll have to wait a little longer before wearable computers are available to all dogs. Head researcher Melody Jackson, however, reportedly said she “could even see a device that would let a pet dog alert you if it’s hungry or needs to go out.”

Of course, you’ll still need Whistle to tell you if your dog is dead.

Correction: The MIT story which served as a source for this post erroneously stated Google was funding the project. The post has been changed to fix this detail. Betabeat regrets the error.

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