What's Fido Saying? Bowlingual Can Translate!

New Japanese gadget analyzes your dog's bark and translates it into one of six emotions

Some tilt their heads. Others whine. No matter what they do, our dogs are pretty good at letting us know how they feel. Still, no matter how well we know our pets, we all wonder from time to time, “Just what is going on in that furry little head?”

We now have an answer, thanks to toy company TOMY’s latest invention, the Bowlingual Voice dog translator. The product of a collaboration between the Japan Acoustics Laboratory and veterinarian/author, Dr. Junichiro Nomura, the Bowlingual Voice analyzes a dog’s voiceprint and translates it into one of six emotions – happy, sad, frustrated, threatening, needy and assertive – in real time.

The two-piece system – it include a transmitter (to be worn around the dog’s neck) and a handheld unit – comes in green, pink and blue, and will retail for about $210 at pet shops and toy stores all over Japan beginning on Aug. 27. There are no plans for a U.S. release just yet.

Bowlingual Voice is an updated version of the Bow-lingual, which was named one of TIME magazine’s greatest inventions of 2002. That translator used FM frequencies to transmit dogs’ voices, while Bowlingual Voice transmits the speech digitally, making it possible to use up to five transmitters at once. The Bowlingual also “speaks” its translations rather than only displaying them in text and pictures like the company’s original dog translator.

Apart from translating your dog’s bark, this model offers several other special features: In “Data Analysis” mode, users can view a graph of their dog’s voice data from the past month and “Action Dictionary” analyzes what their pooch’s walk and mannerisms mean. The Bowlingual Voice also boasts a veterinary appointment reminder and a personality quiz, which tells humans what breed of dog they’d be. And then there’s the “Home Alone” setting, which records voice data for the owner while they are away – to let them know how their dog really feels about being left alone.

What do you think of the Bowlingual Voice dog translator? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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