By: Nick Gambino
We “all know” dogs have significantly better hearing than humans, but we tend to forget that fact when it comes to loud noises in our vicinity. Loud bangs from things like fireworks on the 4th of July or New Year’s, not only set dogs on edge but hurts their ears as well. Man’s best friend can hear four times farther than you or I and can even pick up frequencies we don’t even know exist.
Ford is attempting to do something about this problem with a new prototype for a noise-cancelling kennel. The automaker was in a unique position to create this type of haven for dogs as they had already created noise control tech for their Edge SUV to combat noise from under the hood. Though they have to go even further to compensate for a dog’s uncanny hearing.
“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could help people in other situations,” Lyn West, a brand content manager for Ford of Europe, said. “Making sure dogs and their owners could enjoy a stress-free New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect application for our Active Noise Control system.”
Microphones placed inside the kennel pick up loud sounds alerting the built-in audio system and sending it into action. The audio system emits an opposing frequency to effectively cancel out the unwanted noise. Even noise that can’t be cancelled out completely, is at least reduced to a low decibel and level that won’t hurt or scare our furry friends.
The kennel itself is made out of a high-density cork which is great for soundproofing. Though they are still in the early stages, the prototype as it stands is aesthetically pleasing and would most likely be well received if it hit the market today.
The noise-cancelling kennel is the first of a series of products Ford calls Interventions which will use Ford technology in applications outside of cars. The next product is anybody’s guess, but I doubt it’ll be canine-themed lest they get branded the dog car company. Though that doesn’t sound terrible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.