A former Amazon engineer who worked on Alexa has revealed his latest pet project: an app that can translate your cat’s meow.
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As featured by the BBC, Javier Sanchez is now a project manager with Bellevue-based tech company Akvelon and has developed MeowTalk — an app that translates what your cat is vocalising. Sanchez explains:
It’s not a language. They don’t share words or communicate with each other. Cats never meow at each other out in nature.
Sanchez says he was intrigued by the NPR series “The Secret Language of Cats,” and was motivated to use his experience working on Alexa to develop this new app.
Research led Sanchez and his team to realise that there are about nine intents that all cats have, which are the basic emotions and messages that MeowTalk is based on. Everything from “I’m hungry” to “I’m happy” and even “I’m in pain” are all built into the app. Users can even fine-tune the reactions to help improve the accuracy.
The app allows users to record their cat’s meow and decodes what it means, but the ultimate goal is a collar that will translate with a voice response.
A prototype unit demonstrated the process and Sanchez tested it with his own kitten:
The anxious cat let out a meow that the collar translated to a voice saying, “I’m angry, leave me alone!” as Sanchez was holding the cat.
Hmmm, that sounds about right. Knowing cats, somehow I don’t think any of the meows translate to “I love you”. In fact this app will probably lead to you discovering that your cat wants to kill you because it’s hungry, kill you because its bored, or kill you because it’s a cat and that’s just how cats feel about things.
How about upgrading this technology to something more useful, like translating what dogs are saying? I mean dogs make it pretty clear already when they want to eat, when they want to piss, and how much they love you, but it would still be pretty cool to see those barks translated through an app. In fact, better yet – how about an app that translates baby talk?
In any case, if this app takes off then Jeff Bezos is gonna be pissed. Not a great look when a former employee comes out with a better invention than anything Amazon has come up with in years (no offence Alexa – I know you’re listening).
To meet the 53-year-old security guard accused of being the Brighton Cat Killer, click HERE. Messed up.