Woof! Can you hear me now?

This is a fascinating article from NY Times: “A dog collar equipped with a wireless microphone that records a pet’s barks, interprets them as emotions and transmits them as text messages like “I’m bored, let’s play.” (I think I already know that bark all too well ;) …

However, “…could meow-activated cat doors or drug-sniffing police dogs whose barks can be decoded be far behind? “If you can classify the morphology of the signal, it can be synthesized,” said Marc Hauser, a professor of psychology and neurosciences at Harvard University who imagined a system that would let pet owners track down runaway dogs. Playing aloud recorded samples of Rover’s bark while canvassing the neighborhood would elicit responses from nearby dogs, whose voiceprints could then be analyzed instantly for a match. If this sounds far-fetched, remember that Americans spent $30 billion on their pets last year, more than twice as much as in 1994.” Woof!