In Brief

Internet Messenger Dog is a conceptual project in which trained dogs are strapped with Internet-enabled jackets to allow survivors of a disaster to send messages to their family.

Design students Laura Boffi, Mary Huang and Li Bian have developed a conceptual project that envisions a rescue dog with a weatherproof internet connected coat strapped to it. This dog will run around refugee camps and disaster zones, enabling survivors to send voice and video messages to their friends and family, assuring them that they are safe. The device also stores geolocation of where each message was taken and the time.

Messenger dogs are trained to sit in front of a person, which allows the accelerometer inside the recording device to trigger the interface software to start. The prototype used an IPod running Nada Mobile to simulate the device. When the dogs come back to the camp, volunteers can download the videos and make them available to people to browse for familiar faces.

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