A prototype dog kennel incorporating Ford's latest noise-cancelling technology may someday shelter anxious canines stressed out on New Year's Eve, the Fourth of July, and even during thunderstorms.
Dogs hear better than us humans but that ability can be a double-edged sword. It's estimated that almost half of all pet dogs suffer from fear and anxiety during fireworks shows and in some cases, thunderstorms.
Sympathetic pet-owners then get stressed-out as well. What to do? Well, if you're the Ford Motor Company, you'll find a way to incorporate cutting-edge noise reduction technology into a very cool – and very quiet – indoor/outdoor dog house.
The “kwiet kennel” (our term, not theirs) draws upon new noise-cancelling technology built into Ford's latest model Edge SUV. The active system features microphones that monitor sounds emitted by the vehicle's drivetrain. Should the noise reach a certain level, an onboard processor directs the Edge's audio system to issue opposing sound waves that act to cancel out the obtrusive sounds.
“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could be applied to help in other situations,” stated Lyn West, brand content manager at Ford of Europe's Marketing Communications department.
“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.” Good to know that Ford's know-how will benefit those who go “bow-wow”!
“Many animals find fireworks scary and compared to people, dogs can hear things that are four times further away and across a much wider range of frequencies,” explains so-called “Dogfather” Graeme Hall, one of the UK's best-known dog trainers. Hall has helped roughly (ruff-ly?) 5,000 dogs and their owners sort out a variety of behavioral problems, many of them related to noise.
“Preparing in advance of firework displays is the key and part of that is to identify a place where your pets feel safe and happy,” added Hall.
No doubt the average pet dog would find this nifty noise-cancelling dog house to be their happy place, if the automaker would only follow through on the prototype's promises. Keep your hopes high – and in the meantime, watch this video from Ford showcasing this innovative dog kennel. (images via Ford of Europe, ira mowen, and saimad)