Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

‘Up’ Yours: New Device Will Translate Dog Thoughts Into Human Language

Could this be the Google Glass of the canine world?

(Screengrab: YouTube)

(Screengrab: YouTube)

The Scandinavian research lab responsible for the iPad-charging rocking chair, the indoor cloud and this weird, human-sized bubble say they are working on their “most revolutionary invention so far” (if it works) — a device that translates animals’ thoughts into human language.

The product is called No More Woof, and is being developed by the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NSID), Good Morning America reported. The device — which recently completed a successful indiegogo campaign — would fit onto your dog’s head, read the electrical signals in its brain and translate that brain activity into concise, comprehensible phrases projected via loudspeaker.

“The technology used in No More Woof is the result of combining the latest technologies in three different tech-areas, EEG-sensoring, Micro Computing and special BCI software,” the indiegogo page says. “During the last decade huge discoveries have been made to map out the human brain’s functions. But never before has anyone made a serious attempt to apply this groundbreaking technology on man’s best friend.”

According to the fundraising page, the researchers have managed to interpret basic dog thoughts like “I’m [t]ired” and “I’m excited.” On the No More Woof site, they say in the future, they hope to be able to interpret more complex thoughts, like “Who is that woman, she looks nice!” and maybe even find a way for humans to communicate back to their dogs. They also hope to get the device to communicate in Mandarin, French and Spanish, in addition to English.

The researchers admit No More Woof is still in the very early stages of development. As Good Morning America noted, “How exactly scientists will attach the sensors into a dog’s brain has yet to be ironed out.” We guess that’s why you never actually see how No More Woof works in the product’s own promotional video. That seems like a pretty hefty obstacle to overcome, if you ask us.

Still, various versions of the device are available for pre-order. The researchers say the first version of No More Woof will be “quite rudimentary,” but one day, we hope it’ll work something like this:

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com