For the first time ever, dogs can indicate how they are feeling to their humans, thanks to a revolutionary invention called INUPATHY. This device – a smart dog collar invented by biologist Joji Yamaguchi – communicates dogs’ emotions to their owners by lighting up the collar in different colors, according to what they are feeling.
According to the company’s website, INUPATHY (a combination of the Japanese word for “dog,” and the English “empathy”) works by translating the dog’s heart rate into emotions. It indicates them with a colored LED light; excitement is red, relaxation is blue, happiness is a rainbow, and concentration is white.
Yamaguchi began researching the idea and pursuing his invention because of his own dog’s nerves. “I wanted to know what makes him stressed, and how I can make him more relaxed,” says the biologist, “So I came up with the idea of visualizing the dog’s emotional state in real time through heart rate variation analysis.”
The device also syncs with smartphones, so that owners may keep track of their dogs’ overall moods and health over a period of time. An added bonus feature is that the app has a “play” function, which when activated, advises the owner of which sort of game to play with the dog based on the dog’s mood at that moment.
“It gives us a lot of insight for the dogs and a lot of hints about what our dogs are feeling,” Yamaguchi explains, “I want to change the relationship of dogs and humans, once and forever.”
The mystery of what man’s best friend is feeling has been the source of the gap between us, and the cause of much misunderstanding. This smart collar offers to bridge that gap, and bring us even closer to our furry friends. It is imperative that we learn to understand how our canine companions are feeling, and many people simply cannot do this based on reading body language alone.
Dogs have different physical indicators of emotions than humans do, and there exists a complexity to their physical displays of their feelings. For example, a dog standing perfectly still is not always a sign of relaxation; it can be a sign of feeling threatened and defensive. And a tail wag is not always a sign of contentment; it can indicate nervousness and apprehension, too.
It is monumentally important that we be able to track our dogs’ emotions and heart rates over time. This can let us know about certain patterns which exist; for example, maybe your dog becomes significantly stressed for the 8 hours you are away at work, and bringing your pooch to doggy daycare is a better option for overall emotional health.
Or perhaps you notice a sudden change in heart rate accompanied by the fact that your dog has stopped eating; this could indicate illness to you much more quickly than conventional guesswork can. A change in medication could alert you to changes in heart rate, therefore letting you and your veterinarian know whether this medication is a healthy option.
The advantages to having a smart collar like Inupathy are numerous and compelling. Mystery will be erased, and understanding will take its place. With understanding will come empathy; with empathy will come even more love between man and dog, and a happier life for both.