Ford (yes, the car-maker) has created a noise-canceling kennel to keep man's best friend safe and happy during noise New Year's Eve celebrations.
Research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has revealed that 43% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when exposed to the sound of fireworks. Ford's kennel uses the same technology found in vehicles and noise-canceling headphones to protect pups' sensitive ears and help stop them panicking.
The dog house, which is only a prototype for now, is insulated with high-density cork and a sound system that emits opposing frequencies to cancel loud noises (or at least dramatically reduce them).
The idea was inspired by the noise-damping technology used in the Ford Edge SUV, which uses the car's audio system to cancel noise while driving.
“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could be applied to help in other situations," says Lyn West, brand content manager of marketing communications for Ford of Europe.
"Could dogs enjoy quieter New Year’s Eve celebrations through the application of our Active Noise Control system? We have a few more ideas in progress as to how our everyday lives might benefit from a little Ford know-how,”
Sound-proofing is one way to protect pets from loud noises, but technology is providing other options. Fireworks are a long-standing tradition for ringing in the new year, but drone light shows are gaining popularity as a bang-free alternative.
Intel's Shooting Star Drones are specifically designed for the purpose, and can be programmed using regular 3D modeling software to create three-dimensional animations in the night sky.
Such displays are gaining popularity, but for now, experts say that pet owners should take care and make sure their pets feel safe and comfortable during celebrations.
“While softer sounding alternatives could be a step in the right direction, it’s important for pet owners to take necessary steps now to keep their pets safe if their community is putting on a traditional firework display," says Dr Pamela Reid, vice president of anti-cruelty behavior team at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). "Pet owners can visit www.aspca.org for tips on how to keep pets safe and calm.”
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Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)