Wednesday, March 26, 2003

From the mouths of puppies
Apparently, Takara's dog translation device is coming to the U.S. in August (after being helpfully translated from Japanese to English). The device incorporates a wireless microphone that attaches to a dog collar and a handheld that interprets each "woof, yip, or whine" into one of six emotional states: happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, assertion and desire. The emotional states are then turned into helpful phrases like "You're ticking me off".

Personally, I'd like to see this idea expanded upon. First, it seems like certain dog breeds really require custom devices. These custom devices would enable the use of a different phrase selection to represent the accurate range of emotional states of the breed. It would also make it possible to use cast an appropriate voice actor.

Cocker Spaniel
Emotional states: excited happiness, excited desire, and sleep. Extra processing might be required to differentiate between the two conscious emotional states, represented by the phrases "OhMyGoshI'mSoExcitedBecauseYouWereGoneForFiveMinutesButNowYouAreBackSoI'mGoingToPeeOnTheCarpet!!!" and "OhMyGoshI'mSoExcitedBecauseYouMightGiveMeSomeOfThatJerkySoI'mGoingToPeeOnTheCarpet!!!"

Emotional states: all of the usual plus "hungry for the taste of human flesh". This last state should have representative phrases like "Wanna see if I can make it scream like a little girl?" and "Don't worry, boss, I'll be sure to drag it outside before it gets too much blood on the carpet."

Tokara claims they don't have any plans to manufacture a device for cats or other pets, but I think this is a missed opportunity.

Emotional states: Disdain and pique. Phrases could include "I hate you", "Go away", "Keep rubbing, you worthless human slave", "Feed me, you worthless human slave"

Emotional states: Wet. There aren't many phrases that spring to mind, but I think "Mmm. Food" and "I'm swimming" seem appropriate.
posted by Rebecca 3/26/2003 11:48:00 AM