It’s a dog’s life

Focus-Science and Technology - - Discoveries -

WE’VE BEEN LIV­ING with man’s best friend for thou­sands of years, but we still strug­gle to understand our ca­nine friends. We of­ten as­sume that a dog’s wag­ging tail is a sign of un­bri­dled ex­cite­ment (“yay, walkies!”), but it can also sig­nal fear (“keep that Rot­tweiler away from me!”) or ag­gres­sion (“this is my manor, sun­shine, so do one”).

Now, New York com­pany DogS­tar has cre­ated a de­vice that it hopes will trans­late your dog’s emo­tions. TailTalk is a small, un­ob­tru­sive sen­sor that fits around the dog’s tail, con­vert­ing its wag­ging into a hap­pi­ness rat­ing that’s dis­played on the ac­com­pa­ny­ing app.

The de­vice is based on sound science, with re­search show­ing that dogs tend to wag to­wards the right when ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pos­i­tive emo­tions, and to­wards the left when feel­ing anx­ious or up­set. The app will use this in­for­ma­tion to cre­ate an emo­tional diary for your dog, re­veal­ing ex­actly what makes Rover re­joice or Fido feel fright­ened. Pro­vi­sional patents is­sued

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