Just when you thought you were in control of the TV remote in your home, Pet food brand, Wagg, has been working with Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, PhD Researcher in Animal Computer Interaction Design at the University of Central Lancashire, to develop the prototype which will allow canines to control the TV.
The remote marks the next step in the growing trend of animal computer interaction (ACI), which has seen many pet-focused apps and interactive toys launch over the past few years.
Ilyena said: “Recent research found the average dog now watches more than nine hours of TV a week, showing that technology is already playing a huge part in our pets’ lives.
The prototype is used in a similar way to a normal TV remote and has been specially designed for dogs with hard-wearing waterproof plastic. It includes:
Paw-friendly buttons with raised surfaces to avoid paw slippage
Yellow and blue colours. Although dogs generally have a 240 degree vision, they have fewer colour sensitive cones than humans, which results in them being red-green colour blind preferred colours for dogs
Squeak sounds that omit a lower-intense frequency and appeal to dogs
A hole to attach a rope toy for the dog to interact with and carry the remote
The model remote is currently being trialled, with experts monitoring dog’s reactions to the buttons, sounds and colours. Following the analysis stage, Wagg will approach tech companies with a view of putting the model into production.