Wearable Technology Will Enable Dog-To-Human Communication

Wearable Technology Will Enable Dog-To-Human Communication

The FIDO project aims to improve communication between assistance dogs and their handlers.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 16 july 2013

Who said only people can sport the latest on wearable technology? Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology are working on a project called FIDO or Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations–wearable technology for working dogs.

The mission of the FIDO project is to develop wearable technology that will improve communication between working or assistance dogs and their handlers. The project aims to allow bomb sniffing dogs, rescue dogs, or guide dogs for people with disabilities to communicate information to their handlers or owners by biting or tugging at sensors fitted on their collars or vests or gesturing with their noses. The sensors would activate either audio commands that handlers would hear on their earpiece or visual commands that would appear on a head-mounted display.

The FIDO project team is composed of visiting associate professor Melody Jackson, researcher Clint Zeagler, Giancarlo Valentin, and Thad Stearner, who was the original technical lead on Google Glass.

The team was able to develop four different sensors and were able to test them with three trained assistance dogs. The initial tests showed the potential of wearable sensors for assistance dogs. Zeagler gives a few examples of the potential uses of FIDO on his website.

The team will be presenting their first academic paper on FIDO at this year’s IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers in September.

MIT Technology Review

Image via Clint Zeagler

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