Sony Makes Cats Tweet With Wearable Lifelogging Device

Jun 1, 2010
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
The prototyped lifelogging device for cats. (This cat is a toy.)
The prototyped lifelogging device for cats. (This cat is a toy.)
[Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Computer Science Laboratories (CSL) Inc exhibited a lifelogging device for cats at Open House 2010, which took place May 28, 2010.

The lifelogging device, which was prototyped in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, is equipped with a camera, an acceleration sensor, a GPS, etc to record the activities of a cat.

Using the data collected by the acceleration sensor, etc, the device deduces the activities of a cat such as walking, sleeping and eating.

The device can be used with the Twitter service and automatically posts comments in accordance with the activities. The lifelog data is first transmitted to a PC via Bluetooth, and, then, comments are posted on Twitter. For example, it is possible to automatically post a comment like "This tastes good" when a cat is eating something.

Currently, only fixed phrases can be used as comments for Twitter, and there are 11 phrases available. But Sony CSL is planning to increase the number of phrases and add a function to change comments in accordance with the preceding action. For example, if a cat eats something after taking a walk, a comment like "Meals taste better after a walk" is posted on Twitter, the company said.

If the device is forcibly attached to a cat, it can be an abuse. Therefore, Sony CSL paid careful attention to the size, weight and wearing position of the device, it said. For example, the device weighs 5% of a cat's weight or less and can be attached like a collar.

"If it is attached in the same position as a collar, most cats do not refuse," Sony CSL said. " When it is attached to other parts such as a back, cats will refuse it and take it off."

Furthermore, the device has a function to recognize other cats' faces taken by the camera embedded in the device. Sony CSL realized this function by using the facial images of several thousands of cats that are available on the Internet as reference data.