PHILADELPHIA (CBS)—You may be able to talk to your dog or cat in the next 10 years, according to a new report published by The Guardian.
William Higham of Next Big Thing, who co-authored the report for Amazon, says he believes devices that can talk to your pet could be less than 10 years away.
“Innovative products that succeed are based around a genuine and major consumer needs. The amount of money now spent on pets – they are becoming fur babies to so many people – means there is huge consumer demand for this. Somebody is going to put this together,” Higham tells the Guardian.
The report builds off the work of Con Slobodchikoff, professor emeritus at the department of biological sciences at Northern Arizona University, who has spent 30 years studying the behavior of prairie dogs.
Slobodchikoff found that the prairie dogs had different words to describe colors and species of predators. He believes the concept could be applied to household pets which is why he’s attempting to raise money to develop a translation device for pets.
“So many people would dearly love to talk to their dog or cat or at least find out what they are trying to communicate. A lot of people talk to their dogs and share their innermost secrets. With cats I’m not sure what they’d have to say. A lot of times it might just be “you idiot, just feed me and leave me alone,” he says.
Juliane Kaminski, a psychologist at Portsmouth University, tells The Guardian that she’s less optimistic because she does not think that the way a dog woofs can be viewed as a language.
“We would not describe dogs’ forms of communication as language in the scientific sense,” she says…They do give out rudimentary signals of what they want and how they’re feeling,” Kaminski said.
Slobodchikoff is attempting to raise money to develop the translation device.