If you have a dog, then you probably give it a toy or a treat for a Christmas gift instead of some high-tech gadget. From the weird, wacky and potentially wonderful department comes a device that may one day read your dog’s mind so it can tell you what present it wants. Although having a dog that can talk brings to mind cartoons or animated movies, those pooches manage human-speak without a Raspberry Pi-powered brain-computer interface strapped on their heads.
Scandinavian scientists have taken to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise money to develop a No More Woof headset so your “dog can speak its mind.” Granted, it’s more of work in progress than an actual product, but it combines “three different tech-areas, EEG-sensoring, Micro Computing and special BCI software.” The EEG recorders on the headset allegedly read your dog’s thoughts, which are then decoded into human-speak and transmitted to you through a loudspeaker. Researchers from the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery explained, “Some of the most easily detected neural patterns are: ‘I'm hungry’, ‘I'm tired’, ‘I'm curious who that is?’ and ‘I want to pee’.”
As you saw in the video above, the dog calmly accepts wearing the headset gadget. That’s interesting as my dog would prefer to chew on Santa’s hat instead of wear it; he only tolerates it on his head for photos with the promise of a treat. No More Woof would likely be om nom nom nom chewed to bits.
This is not the first freaky invention that NSID researchers have come up with. Their previous real products include “a rocking chair that charges your iPad, a plastic ball with a fully functioning kitchen inside and a lamp that forecasts the weather by dispensing a cloud made from liquid nitrogen.” Also according to Wired, their future “projects include tiny mobile phones designed to worn be as piercings, air-powered motorcycles and, yes, flying carpets for pets.” The flying carpet actually works as the magnet-powered prototype “can lift a cat or dog a few centimeters.”
Remember, No More Woof is only a work in progress. NSID explained, "Yes, we HAVE achieved some results, but we are very far from a mass-producable product. That said, we believe that within a few years the technologies we are working with will revolutionize our relation to pets and animals."
To make No More Woof into real products, NSID is offering interested dog-lovers a chance to invest via a pre-ordered product. The $65 NMW Micro version has one sensor “to able to distinguish 2-3 thought patterns, most likely Tiredness, Hunger and Curiosity.” The $300 NMW Standard has "two sensors to distinguish 4 or more thought patterns.” The $1200 NMW Superior has a premium mini-speaker and comes with “algorithmic learning: NMW superior programs itself while in use, always learning more of how your dog thinks and reacts –over time this option let’s your dog speak short sentences (‘I’m hungry – but I don’t like this!’).”
Additionally, the researchers are working on a concept for different voice types, so you can choose one that fits your pooch. They also claim that future applications may include an uncensored edition to allow your dog to human-speak its “horny” thoughts. Alrighty then . . .
Invest at your own risk as the scientists wrote, “Right now we are only scraping the surface of possibilities; the project is only in its cradle. And to be completely honest, the first version will be quite rudimentary. But hey, the first computer was pretty crappy too.”
If you are so inclined, you can support No More Woof here.