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This Collar Wants To Be The Bridge Between Human-Dog Communication
Source: Andrew Conrad

Inupathy claims to be world's first dog emotion visualizer

7 december 2016

Any dog owner who has ever returned home to find that the family pet has turned an expensive throw pillow into confetti has wondered, “what was he thinking?” Now, they might be able to find out. Inupathy, an advanced dog harness created by Japanese inventor Joji Yamaguchi, is designed to monitor a canine’s heart rate and then translate that data into recognizable feelings: happiness (a dazzling rainbow pattern), excitement (intense red) and relaxation (soothing blue).

When the dog is concentrating, the harness even flashes a white light.

In addition to the real-time visualization, the waterproof harness also uploads data to Inupathy’s cloud server so that a pet’s emotion can be tracked over time through an app.

The app also includes several games that can be played using the heart rate monitoring—including treasure hunting and hide and seek—and a social network that connects Inupathy users and their pets with each other.

The initial version of the harness comes in three color schemes: baby blue, soft pink or neutral gray.

The sorcery behind the Inupathy collar comes from a heart rate variation algorithm which identifies patterns that are commonly present when a dog is displaying traditional emotional signals. For example, wide eyes and wagging tail for happiness, or cocked head and raised ears for concentration. Inupathy’s creators claim that they are in the process of discovering more identifiable HRV patterns.

human-dog communication heart rate variation algorithm inupathy

The question remains, if Inupathy translates a dog’s heart rate patterns into light signals that convey emotions, why wouldn’t a dog owner just rely on more traditional signals—eye contact, tail activity, ear height—to determine their pet’s mood?

Perhaps future updated of the Inupathy software will be capable of translating more subtle emotions, such as anxiety, loneliness, or even goofiness. Regardless of whether or not Inupathy can help owners truly communicate with their pets, the social networking and gaming functionality could be compelling features.

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