Dogstar: the world’s first dog emotion sensor

By | 2 minute read | August 10, 2016

A long-haired woman sits cross-legged in a grassy field with her hand extended. Her large dog, sitting across from her, has a paw extended as if about to shake her hand. The pair are in silhouette against the sunsetting sky

I am willing to bet that you, or someone you know, uses a wearable device. I am also willing to claim that your dog does not have his or her own wearable. Yet.

Meet Dogstar. Dogstar was born at Cornell University, during their Startup Studio, a program that encourages students to flex their entrepreneurial muscles. Dogstar is the first ever canine emotional sensor.

A wearable for your Tail

TailTalk is a connected wearable device, worn around your dog’s tail, that captures tail movement and translates this data into the emotion your dog is experiencing. Canine behavioral researchers have been able to document a dog’s emotional state based on complex signals communicated through tail movement. The wearable device wraps around the base of your pup’s tail and transmits movement data to a companion app. This app translates the tail movement into emotions that are transparent to dog owners.

Image of the TailTalk wearable on a dog's tail. The device is a small green band on the dog's tail.

His tail is wagging, he is happy, right?

Dr. Pamela Perry, Ph.D., DVM, Veterinary Behavior Resident at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine says, “Tail wagging doesn’t automatically imply that a dog is happy. The tail is a dog’s social interface, signaling behavioral nuances that other dogs recognize, but which humans do not always understand. Fortunately, there are ways to monitor and record dogs’ body language, and ongoing research offers a more detailed understanding of how our pets express themselves. The goal of the DogStar Life’s tracker is to measure tail position and movements as indicators of dogs’ behavior and mood, thereby allowing owners to ensure their dogs’ behavioral health and wellbeing.” The tracker itself is a lightweight, chew-resistant, water-resistant device that is worn at the base of a dog’s tail. The wearable is unobtrusive and can be worn throughout the day, or only as needed.

What are the benefits of DogStar?

The ability to understand man’s (or woman’s) best friend on a deeper level can have so many positive impacts on people and dogs alike. New dog parents will be able to understand how to connect better with their dog, and how to ensure their dog feels safe and at home. Does your dog hate bath time? TailTalk can help you to understand better how to make your dog feel more comfortable. Not sure if your dog is feeling territorial or excited around strangers? TailTalk can help to decode your dog’s body language and help you to train accordingly.

Images displaying the use of the TailTalk app. The app allows users to track moods over time, happiness levels, and the ability to see your friends' dog's data.

The ability to understand your pet’s emotions in a tangible way will enable pet owners around the world to provide the best lives possible to their animals. And isn’t that what every dog parent wants?

Would you buy a wearable device for your pet? We would love to hear your thoughts. Bark about it in the comment section below!