The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 20, 2003, Image 5

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^'lEiin battalics est songmiij showcases^ a bifj r °ll tracks fe D collections eckless Ke| you miglitm D player lot; Sell Tech The Battalion Page 5A • Thursday, November 20, 2003 Shut up and listen Your dog will be talking with the Bow-Lingual Dog Translator in stores now By Amelia Williamson THE BATTALION Shipp People have often wondered what a dog would ay if it could talk. This question may be answered the introduction of the Bow-Lingual Dog jranslator, a device that claims to translate dogs’ [arks. Bow-Lingual sells for $119 at PETsMART ith catchy slogans such as, “Giving dogs a voice iey never had” and “Your dog has something to ijell you.” I The translator appeals to the immense curiosi- people have about what dogs are thinking and :eling and what they mean when they bark. “I think that (Bow-Lingual) sounds neat,” said freshman education major Katherine Etchison. “I would love to know how my dog is feeling when she barks.” Shoppers may wonder how the gadget works and if it really is accurate. Matsumi Suzuki, president of the Japan Acoustic Laboratory, was the main researcher in the development of Bow-Lingual. He recorded samples of dog barks and, while analyzing them, found that there were distinct acoustic patterns in the barks, according to the Bow-Lingual Web site, Using this as his starting point, Suzuki expanded his sampling of dog barks, recording thousands of bark samples from more )food-aW ree times k forTuesda)’ i | physical fc' ish. ed for j surgery arm. for this' eduled start I enough l Nov. 2, I* MSC OPAS presents The Tony®Award-Nominated Original Broadway Cast JOE SEARS JASTON WILLIAMS Starring in the Hilarious Sequel to the Hit Comedy Greater Tuna /'A ATUNA^Itahrf Wednesday-Friday November 19-21 at 7:30 PM Rudder Auditorium Get Your Tickets Now! 845-1234 or Broadway Series Sponsored By: Don't Miss Tonight's Hilarious Performance! buy tickets, be inspired FacultylStaff Discount brought to you by TIAA-CREF! MSCE r/jne Decades of Performing Arts enlighten I entertain | inspire she barks. than 80 breeds of dogs using digital sound recorders and video recorders. Dr. Norio Kogure, an animal behaviorist, vet erinarian and the president of Kogure Companion Animal Clinic in Tokyo, Japan, helped to classify the dog bark samples into basic emotional cate gories. He studied the video and audio samples of the dog barks and, by examining the different barks and the behavior of the dogs while barking, he came up with six emotional categories: happy, sad, on-guard, frustrated, assertive and needy. Some of the barks did not fall specifically into one of these six categories, but by looking at the categories the bark resembled and the behavior of the dog, Kogure fit each bark into one of the six categories. Once the foundation of emo tional categories was established, Suzuki converted the samples of dog barks into digital voiceprints, using a Fast Fourier Transform (EFT) analyzer, which breaks a sound into its frequency compo nents. He then classified each voiceprint as showing one of the six basic emotions, taking the breed of the dog into consideration, as indicated on the Bow- Lingual Web site. Suzuki created a system called the Animal Emotion Analysis System (AEAS) that converts any dog bark into a voiceprint and identifies the emotion that the voiceprint most closely matches. He took into account the fact that not all breeds of dogs are pure and that the size of a dog and the length of a dog’s snout affect the acoustic charac teristics of that dog’s bark. So he created acoustic profiles for six generic types of dogs: large, medi um or small dogs with either long or short snouts. When Suzuki applied barks from the generic types of dogs to the AEAS, the results were not as accu rate as they were for the pure breeds, but still seemed to classify the bark into the correct emo tion category most of the time, according to the Bow-Lingual Web site. Suzuki recognized that the voiceprint of a dog’s bark changes as the dog ages. A dog’s voice changes often when it is a puppy, so the results are u I think that (Bow-Lingual) sounds neat. I would love to know how my dog is feeling when yy — Katherine Etchison freshman education major not as accurate for young dogs as they are for adult dogs. According to the Bow-Lingual Web site, prod uct designers from the Takara Corporation, a Japanese company, worked with Suzuki to create a wireless microphone that fits on a dog’s collar and a handheld unit, containing a receiver, EFT analyzer, microcomputer, simple keyboard and a liquid crystal display interface, to translate the barks. The device was tested and adjusted until it was as accurate as the equipment Suzuki used in his laboratory. Takara’s designers consulted with Kogure to determine which phrases could be used to corre spond with the six different emo tions. Takara came up with more than 200 translation phrases to cor respond with the emotions. The Bow-Lingual handheld device picks up bark transmissions from the microphone on the dog’s collar from up to 30 feet away and displays the matching emotion and a phrase that fits with the emotion. The Bow-Lingual Dog Translator also has a body lan guage mode that allows a person to choose the type of body language he wants to know about: ears, eyes, mouth, behavior, fur and tail. It then displays different actions associated with the type of body language and what the action means in terms of what the dog is thinking when it displays certain body language. An additional feature of the dog translator is the home alone mode that records a dog’s barks and emotions for up to 12 hours while its owner is away. The Bow-Lingual Web site explains that this feature allows a person to know how his dog was feeling while they were away. Some people are skeptical about a device that claims to translate a dog’s barks and ques tion its accuracy. “Barking is one form of vocal communication (in dogs) but is limited primarily to general mes sages that denote such things as excitement, not specific messages such as occur in human See Bow-Lingual on page 2 Class Councils Present Elephant Walk & Junior E-Walk T-Shirt Sales November 10-14 17-21 24 6c 25 • Food • Games • T-Shirts • Pictures with Elephants November 25, 2003 10am - 3pm Law/Puryear Field 2004 Elephant Walk 2005 Junior E-Walk Pictures/Speaker - 12:45pm Step Off - 2:05pm Kyle Field Law/Puryear Field Step Off - 2:04pm Pictures/Speaker - 3:00pm Kyle Field Pictures available at Kyle Field Come cut tills weekend for CIJTRAGEOiJS diink specials, culmlnatlnfl In an evenlnu cf decadence, Saturday Nltfht, November 22, when we’ll be servlno $2 drinks ALL NIGHT!! 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