No More Woof is endeavoring to unlock one of the greatest mysteries of all time — what dogs really mean when they bark.
Yes folks, you heard me. This device aims to translate animal thoughts into human, rescuing pet owners and their beloved pets from a lifetime of language barriers and miscommunication.
The project has raised nearly $16,000 on Indiegogo, surpassing its $10,000 goal with 47 days left to go.
No More Woof is a headset that you put on your pooch. Sensors in the gadget pick up EEG signals from the dog’s brain and will attempt to translate this activity into human thoughts, based on pattern recognition.
No More Woof emerged out of the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NSID), a Swedish product development center that comes up with crazy, quirky inventions, like an iPad-charging rocking chair and a hovering lamp that follows you around.
All human thoughts are the result of electric signals in the brain, which can be recorded through EEG readings. Advancements in brain mapping technology, micro computing, and wearable devices led the NSID team to wonder what would happen if this technology was used to understand and uncover the depths of the canine soul.
“During the last decade huge discoveries have been made to map out the human brain’s functions,” the campaign page said. “But never before has anyone made a serious attempt to apply this groundbreaking technology [to] man’s best friend.”
NSID researched animal thought patterns, looking at what specific electric signals in the dog’s brain connect to specific communiqués, such as “I am tired,” “I am hungry,” or “who are you?”
The team is careful to point out that dogs “think” in a different way from humans. Their brain signals indicate more of a mental state than a thought, and this poses “an interesting philosophical question.”
Things just got deep.
Now you may be wondering how desperate of a need dog-to-English translation is. Dog brains are not exactly harboring profound metaphysical musings, aching to be released. Most of their thought processes are simple and easy to understand from other cues.
Man and dog have ably communicated for thousands of years before No More Woof — it is just not that hard to tell when a dog is excited (wagging its tail), tired (curling up to sleep), or hungry (lurking around its food bowl).
And it is a rare dog that will happily endure wearing this device on its head.
But the technology behind No More Woof is really cool and representative of major advancements and trends in the tech industry.
The headset is built using Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized, bare-bones computer that makes it possible to put a computer on a small gadget. Combined with new brain-computer interface (BCI) tech, it is possible to detect, analyze, and translate the brainwaves of dogs inside the device.
No More Woof is still a work-in-progress, and the money from the Indiegogo campaign will support additional development and research. The cheapest option costs $65 and can distinguish 2-3 thought patterns. The $600 device comes with two sensors, can distinguish upwards of 4 thought patterns, and allegedly has better functions and accuracy than the micro edition.
The device currently speaks English, with Mandarin, French and Spanish versions coming soon.