From search-and-rescue K9 units to keg-toting St. Bernards, man’s best friend tackles crises with the same selfless devotion usually reserved for canonized saints and fictional heartthrob vampires. Anyone caught in the aftermath of a disaster, avalanche or otherwise, could probably use some high-proof vino, but designers Mary Huang, Laura Boffi, and Li Bian have a smarter if non-alcoholic wearable for helper hounds: A “smart” vest that records video messages so your loved ones know you’re alive and well.
IN DOG WE TRUST
Intended as an informal stopgap measure to facilitate communication when phone lines are down, “Messenger Dog” records short missives that are name-logged, time-stamped, and geo-tagged. When the dog returns to command central at the end of its shift, the videos are downloaded by volunteers and made available for viewing. “This way, people can get to know if a family member is fine before formal communication is restored,” according to the designers, who are students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design.
“Messenger Dog” records short missives that are name-logged, time-stamped, and geo-tagged.
You don’t have to chase down a dog to submit your message, either. Each dog is trained to sit when it encounters a human, allowing the accelerometer inside the recording device to launch the software interface. Instructions are even in audio. Dug the Talking Dog, is that you?