New Year’s Eve. Faces lit up with joy as the countdown to midnight begins and the skies are illuminated by fireworks. But the soundtrack to that experience can be a painful one for pets and worrying for owners. Ford knows that and is working on the problem.
An estimated 45 per cent of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. That causes distress to owners and their families too.
One possible answer could be a noise-cancelling kennel
It uses similar technology to that found in cars and headphones to protect sensitive canine ears. The system also ensure owners do not have to banish their pets away from the rest of the family.
Once microphones inside the prototype kennel detect the sound of the fireworks. A built-in audio system emits opposing frequencies that in effect cancels out the noise completely. Or at least reduces it significantly. High-density cork, ideal for sound proofing was an integral part of the design. The result? No more stress for your pet.
“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. 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,” said Graeme Hall, “The Dogfather”, one of the UK’s best dog trainers who has helped 5,000 dogs and their owners with behavioural problems.
The inspiration for the idea came from the noise-cancelling technology that Ford has introduced to the Edge SUV
It helps to ensure quieter journeys for drivers and passengers. When microphones pick up high levels of noise from the engine or transmission, there’s a counteraction with opposing sound waves from the car’s audio system.
“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could be applied to help in other situations. 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,” said Lyn West, brand content manager, Marketing Communications, Ford of Europe.
Just a prototype for now, the noise-cancelling kennel is the first in a series of Ford initiatives with the name Interventions. The company applies automotive know-how to help solve everyday problems.