Written by By Aidan Redmond, CNN
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Welcome to the hot new dog park in the neighborhood — make that your neighborhood.
We mean a dog phone, of course. An innovative contraption and pet safety device that’s a real cause for concern.
Even though the pooch phone concept may have developed out of animal protection, it’s already going to make residents of Los Angeles’ Royal Oaks neighborhood very happy.
“My initial reaction was like ‘Oh my god,’ because this was so far ahead of its time,” Royal Oaks resident Holly Roberts told CNN. “I was afraid that some of my neighbors would turn it in on me because I would not turn it in.”
All too soon
The name says it all. The Dog Phone concept was designed by Aaron Peckham, founder of tabletop desktop furniture company imeem. It may look like a piece of office technology, but its obvious purpose is to assist pets.
“As a designer I’ve always tried to think outside the box, use technology that would make things better for everyday things like transportation or communication,” Peckham told CNN. “Everything we do, we try to make better.”
Peckham always intended to have the phone out in the open, so viewers could see how useful it was.
“When I saw this guy having his dog use it I was like ‘I have to do that,’ but I never thought it would actually get made,” Roberts told CNN.
The phone’s other crucial benefit — long battery life — meant it could easily be integrated into a standard pocket, purse or a laptop bag to keep pets safe.
It packs 10 hours of battery life and utilizes its built-in accelerometer to enable the device to adapt to the direction of the dog, such as trying to go through an animal shelter or a playground, or going for a hike.
“A lot of dogs like to go in parks or parking lots,” Peckham said. “For the phone to know the dog is always with you and have the leash to go with it makes it a lot safer.”
So next time that dog that sits on your shoulder, looks into your car’s rear view mirror, or stays too close when you’re walking through a mall, or sniffs that family on the other side of the road, don’t assume they’re merely curious. They might have a team of security specialists working to keep them safe.