Tokyo - A Japanese gadget claiming to interpret emotionally-charged "barks" has a veterinary behaviorist trying to translate its authenticity.
Tokyo - A Japanese gadget claiming to interpret emotionally-charged"barks" has a veterinary behaviorist trying to translate its authenticity.
The "Bow-lingual," created by Japan's third-largest toymaker,Takara Co. Ltd., is a hand-held electronic device designed to gauge a dog'smood by interpreting its bark. A microphone attached to the dog's collarrecords the bark and sends voice-print infra-red beams to the owner's "emotionpager" - a small liquid crystal display that reveals how the dog feels.
It "seems reasonable" that information could be inferred fromthe physical measurement of a bark's pitch, volume, decay and repetition,says Dr. Rolan Tripp, an affiliate professor of applied animal behaviorat Colorado State University's veterinary college.
"There are several limitations, however," he says.
Bow-lingual gauges six emotions and uses 200 words to describe them,picturing the dog's feelings on the pager. The "Dog Diary" optioncollects data from a full-day's barks and interprets the animal's overallmood using 100 pre-programmed sentences.
But most people, Tripp says, can intuitively - and probably more accurately- determine different mood meanings through barks and canine body language.
The Bow-lingual hits Japan's store shelves next February and retailsat $103. A release in the United States is expected, but Tripp warns thatit could be a waste of money for clients.