Social Networking Goes to the Dogs

A group of researchers at MIT’s Physical Language Workshop have created a wearable computer system that allows owners to monitor their dogs’ behaviors and capture their social networks. The system is, oh so cleverly, called Social Networking for Fur, or SNIF.

When out for a walk, the canine’s collar flashes a unique “collar tone” that provides its social network ID to other doggies’ SNIF collars. Then a secure ID transfer takes place.

Owners can record their dog’s reactions to each other by pressing “negative” or “positive” buttons on the leash. When released to play with a group, the dog’s collar records the IDs of pets that it has spent the most time with, along with the corresponding activity level. The collar relays the data to the leash when reattached.

The leash then uploads the information to a SNIF server. On the website, pet owners can learn about their dogs’ new friends through profiles created by their owners.

I do apologize for the post title — it just couldn’t be helped.

[ via ACM TechNews ]

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