Magazine article Newsweek

I Feel like Woof

Magazine article Newsweek

I Feel like Woof

Article excerpt

Byline: Kay Itoi

No nation blends the latest high-tech gadgetry with the most frivolous of pursuits better than Japan. Now the land that gave us virtual pets (the egg-shaped Tamagotchi key fobs) and instant-photo stickers (taken in Purikura photo booths) is exporting another homegrown fad, the Bowlingual. The device claims to be, in effect, a dog translator. A microphone hangs around your pooch's neck, and when it barks, an artificial-intelligence program, using voiceprint analysis, figures out whether it's happy or sad or alarmed. An egg-shaped receiver then displays a "translation": "Go ahead, make my day," or perhaps "I don't like it when you ignore me."

Toy maker Takara originally introduced the gadget in Japan a year ago as a toy that would appeal to adults as well as children. Despite the steep $124 price tag, Takara has so far sold 300,000 units. Teenage girls and young women were probably driving sales, say market watchers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.