Dog-Human Tennis-Ball-Based Internet Communicator

The quest to more often communicate with one’s dog, if one has a dog, takes a big bounce forward with the invention of a tennis-ball-based dog-to-human internet communication system. A new study offers detail on how, and how well, it works:

Forming the Dog Internet: Prototyping a Dog-to-Human Video Call Device,” Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, Roosa Piitulainen, and Andrés Lucero, Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 5, no. ISS, 2021. (Thanks to Tom Whipple for bringing this to our attention.)

Lead author Hirskyi-Douglas is continuing her long line of work on this subject, a line that includes the study “On the Internet, Nobody Knows You’re a Dog… Unless You’re Another Dog.”

Table 1, in the new study, is of special interest to anyone who is interested in something special. Here is the beginning of Table 1:

Dogs and Cats and the Future

Some people, and perhaps many dogs and perhaps a few cats, yearn for a grand dog-cat-human communication system.

Research on the cat-human aspect of that was honored with the 2021 Ig Nobel Prize for biology, awarded to Susanne Schötz, Robert Eklund, and Joost van de Weijer, for analyzing variations in purring, chirping, chattering, trilling, tweedling, murmuring, meowing, moaning, squeaking, hissing, yowling, howling, growling, and other modes of cat–human communication.

The Talk of Scandinavia

Scandinavia appears to be, currently, the center of innovation for this kind of research. The dog/tennis-ball research was conducted primarily in Finland. The cat-human communication research was conducted primarily in Sweden. Norway and Denmark have still, each of them, to establish which kind of animal to claim as most central to their own communications research yearnings.