Just when you thought it was safe to think designers would come up with a genuinely useful consumer product, enter the CATTERBOX, a collar that translates meows and other feline utterances into the English language. The result of collaborations between The Temptations Lab and Adam&eveDDB, with digital development and design by ACNE, the collar is equipped with a microphone, Bluetooth technology, and Wi-Fi. These components capture the creature’s meows and other vocalizations and transmit them to a smartphone that has the Catterbox app installed.
It’s not quite clear how this marvel translates cat sound to human speech, one might assume it’s all done in the digital stage via some form of unique voice recognition algorithm. Speaking of the digital domain, digital development and design is provided by ACNE. According to the ACNE team, “We took care of R&D, digital development and design, covering a remarkable number of steps in the whole process: initial research, design, prototyping, development and manufacture of the collar, design of the app and the interface and creation of brand identity from logo to final packaging. Our director Joakim Behrman documented the process and created the promotional film and associated content, produced also in house.” Johan Holmgren, Creative Director, ACNE states, “Chatterbox is produced with the help of speech recognition to detect and analyze the many different meows of cats.”
The rubber coated collar comes in four colors. Pricing and availability info is not readily available, however, if interested, you can check into the product website from time to time to follow progress.
On a curious note, should one actually need or want this device, here’s something to consider. The two most popular household pets are cats and dogs. Cats are very popular with those folks who don’t want to burn calories walking their pet. Cats get litter boxes, dogs need trees and the occasional fire hydrant. Dogs have friends, cats have staff.
Cats come in various breeds, but essentially behave the same in the home. They eat, play, rub against the legs of their staff, go to the litter box, scratch stuff and staff, and sleep. They don’t come when you call them unless you have a treat in hand and you can’t really get them to do tricks. And if you think they’ll guard your house and kids, I have bridge you might want to buy.
Dogs, besides coming in various breeds, all have diverse and endearing characteristics and some actually assimilate the characteristics of their owners. Dogs also can learn to do useful jobs. There are seeing-eye dogs, bomb and drug sniffing dogs, therapy dogs, guard dogs, show dogs, even dog actors. There are dogs that pull sleds and dogs named after a saint that will bring you brandy or whiskey if you find yourself lost on a frozen tundra. There are dogs serving in the military that protect soldiers and equipment, while providing friendship and fun to those around them. And there are dogs that can sniff out disease in a person, even after the MRIs and CT scans fail to find anything wrong.
Based on that comparison, which, dog or cat, would be more interesting to listen and/or talk to? ~MD