New AI dog collar analyzes barks to tell owners how their dog feels

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Petpuls is an AI dog collar that analyzes barks to determine a dog's emotions.

Every dog owner has wondered at least once what their furry friend is thinking. Although it’s not yet possible to read a dog’s mind, researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to try. As part of CES 2021, a company called Petpuls is showing off a dog collar equipped with AI that’s designed to help unravel the emotions a dog is feeling.

Although it sounds far-fetched (no pun intended) the collar might be a useful tool for dog owners. It listens to the dog’s bark and then analyzes the sound to predict what sort of emotional state it is in.

While it’s not Dug’s voice-translating collar from the movie “Up,” it is certainly a step in that direction.

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Bark Talking

Most dog owners would do just about anything to make sure their four-legged friend is happy and healthy. However, knowing what they’re feeling isn’t always easy. Petpuls’ AI collar seeks to answer this question in a simple, unobtrusive way.

The collar picks up on your dog’s barking and movement throughout the day. It then syncs to a companion app that’s available on both iOS and Android. From there, dog owners can analyze their pet’s barks with Petpuls’ proprietary algorithms.

The company has compiled a database of more than 10,000 bark samples from 50 different breeds. It claims that the AI can detect five distinct emotional states—happy, anxious, angry, sad, or relaxed. Petpuls’ system is supposedly 80 percent accurate according to a study by Seoul National University.

Over time, the algorithms only get better as the database learns each individual dog’s “voice.” This allows it to make more accurate predictions about what the pup is feeling at any given moment.

It’s worth noting that the collar also doubles as an activity tracker—yes, like a Fitbit for your dog. The Petpuls collar measures your dog’s movement throughout the day and calculates the number of calories it burns. Although this isn’t the device’s primary function, it could be handy for owners who struggle to manage their dog’s nutrition and activity levels.

Pet Tech

The way that humans interact with their pets is changing. That’s why the global pet care market is expected to be worth nearly $43 billion by 2022. Undoubtedly, high-tech gadgets like the Petpuls collar will help drive that trend.

Although an AI dog collar certainly isn’t for everyone, it does give dog owners an intimate view of their pet’s health. The company’s CEO and founder, Vincent Kim, says, “The AI-driven data accumulated by the Petpuls collar can create more meaningful relationships between dogs and the humans they regularly interact with: dog owners, walkers, caretakers and veterinarians.”

This is a device that is worth keeping an eye on. It isn’t difficult to envision the Petpuls collar catching on with dog owners that go over-the-top for their furry companions.

This is especially true considering that it will retail for $99 when the company’s Indiegogo campaign ends in August. Although it sounds like a lot, the price is rather reasonable for the AI collar and the accompanying platform.

For those who struggle to connect with and understand their dog, this gadget could be worth a try.

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