‘Smart vest’ aims to turn abandoned dogs into Thailand´s street guardians

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Photo: Juarawee Kittisilpa / Reuters

We know that the presence of abandoned animals on the street is a problem. Developed countries often have very strict policies for adopting animals. However, this is not usually the case in emerging countries. In Bangkok, Thailand, there are estimated 800,000-abandoned dogs on the streets.

There are many cases of cruelty against animals in Thailand, despite the introduction of the country’s first Animal Welfare Law in late 2014, which penalizes wrongdoers. Knowing how much dogs are neglected in this country, an advertising agency has developed a "smart vest" that can turn stray dogs into guardians of the Bangkok´s streets.

How it Works

The vest is equipped with a hidden camera and sensors. The camera is programmed to turn on by itself and broadcast live what the animal is seeing when the dog barks. Images are streamed on mobile phones and computers.

The innovation of the equipment is in the speech detection algorithm that senses if the barking is alert, which initiates the transmission in real time. The project's creators claim that dogs are experts at identifying offenders and this can contribute to the safety of the dogs themselves and the community.

The project creators

Pakornkrit Khantaprap is on the creative team that came up with the idea. Martin Turner is the managing director of the Soi Dog Foundation that struggles to save stray animals across Thailand.

The project began in March 2017, however, the developers says that more tests are needed before the vest can be introduced into communities for trial runs. “We do not know if it going to work properly and if the camera angle will be correct”, says Turner. The idea is to provide the equipment to the Bangkok’s police.

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