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Volkswagen Works Out a Way to Get Dogs to Walk Themselves

Volkswagen Works Out a Way to Get Dogs to Walk Themselves
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A connected device concept will let your pooch go for a stroll, alone

Laura Yan
  • 8 march 2016

A Volkswagen campaign shows a vision of the Connected Dog: a GPS and live cam-enabled cap that will allow your dog to go on a walk without you tagging along.

A video to show off the concept was created by creative agency ACHTUNG!, with the help of Dutch dog whisperer, Martin Gaus.

Erik Mulder, project manager of the Volkswagen app, begins by showing off the app that will allow you to control your car. The logical next step? Apparently, doing the same thing for your pooch.

A handsome Border Collie wears the bright blue cap and goes off exploring the city: a stop at the butcher shop, lapping up a bowl of milk at an outdoor cafe, even playing fetch with himself, using a tennis ball machine. “The dog is in charge, and he has an incredible life,” the ecstatic Gaus explains.

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“Just like the My Volkswagen app, the Connected Dog is designed to make the owner’s life easier. The owner no longer needs to be present to walk the dog. After he remotely unlocks the doggy door, he is able to track the dog through both GPS and a live cam, whilst the application enables the ability to provide the dog with location-specific voice commands and rewards for spotless behavior (or ‘being a good boy’).”

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The Connected Dog cap consists of a camera that sends live video to the owner, GPS tracking to show exactly where the dog is roaming, and speakers for the dog to hear commands.

(“Sit,” a human commands at a stoplight. The obedient dog waits for the light to turn green, then receives some praise. “Good dog!”)

The independent pooch is even shown to wait at a bus stop, before boarding a bus headed toward home. “We’ll have to wait to see what the future will bring,” Gaus says, “but the sky’s the limit.”

Unless you are a professional dog whisperer with a meticulously well-trained dog, it’ll be a while yet before the Connected Dog becomes useful in the real world. But it’s a cute and clever concept, and not such a far cry from say, smart dog collars.

The Connected Dog

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