The days of owners having to speak for their dogs and kitties may soon be over. Instead of guessing what your cat or canine is communicating, exciting new technology may accurately translate sounds, body language and facial gestures from your beloved pet.
In fact, NBC reports that Amazon-funded research estimates a translator for pets will debut in the next decade. This posses questions for the pet obsessed like: How would this technology work? What does animal communication mean for people? How do I get one of these dang things?
How would animal translation technology work?
With the help of combining artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology, scientists are developing the foundation for what could become an animal translator. By analyzing and documenting the subtle facial changes along with vocal and physical signals animals of different species use to communicate, researchers at companies like Zoolingua are hoping to be able to create something that can clarify exactly what the animal wants or needs.
What would animal communication mean for humans?
Most pet owners know, their animals each have their own personality and may express themselves differently — and, if you're really in tune with your pet, you already pick up on anything that's going on with them. But for ranchers and shelter workers, it's nearly impossible to constantly monitor the subtle changes of large groups of animals. Translation technology would not only be able to decipher vocal signals into simple phrases, but it would also help pick up on facial changes that could denote an issue long before you'd ever normally be able to notice it.
In other words, translation technology would take the guess work out of pet ownership by allowing animals to speak directly to humans.
Where do we get an animal translator?
We could be at least a decade away from the animal translation technology to be marketed. But, as the research continues to progress, maybe we'll see small prototypes or even more studies that could shed light into all sorts of understated but highly nuanced bits of communication our animal friends are sharing with us every day.