Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. The oppression of everyone being confined at home all day, every day is testing the limits of patience. And this extends to Fido.
The good folks who brought you Match.com have decided that enough is enough – – there is now a video doggy hookup, er, playdate app that is intended to keep your four-legged friends distracted and occupied for hours at a time while you’re trying to work.
On the surface, it seems silly, but when you consider that your dog is missing out on daily dog-to-dog interaction, this sort of stimulation might come in handy over what is certain to be several more months of isolation.
Just look at that little buddy, bored and looking up at you. Here’s a way to let technology assuage your guilt! (it’s actually pretty cool)
Full text of the press release is below:
DoggoVision offers a videoconferencing alternative to Doggy Daycare
Dallas, TX – April 1, 2020
Dallas-based Match Group, Inc. today announced DoggoVision, a videoconferencing play date solution for dogs, in partnership with Zoom Video Communications and virtual reality developer Spaces.
This innovative networked service is a response to sweeping stay-at-home rules, requiring entire families to work and/or study under the same roof, which for many families had never been experienced before. Compounding the situation is the closure of pet sitting facilities and services, which in many cases had provided an outlet for pets and a break for their owners.
While working from home has generally increased the number of walks dogs are getting, human social distancing during these walks has severely curtailed dog-to-dog interaction.
DoggoVision provides dogs (and their owners) access to a video community in which dogs can interact in real time, in both audio and video, with other dogs selected for particular affinities. Selection criteria include dog size, breed, temperament, etc. Enabled by the virtual reality of the Spaces app, dogs can see, bark, investigate, engage in play behavior, and even virtually ‘sniff’ other dogs.
A variety of video background images can be artificially projected behind the dogs’ video images, so that the dogs can think they’re at the beach, in a forest, in the AKC show, on the couch, etc. According to the company, in beta testing most dogs quickly accepted the scenarios, were transfixed for up to several hours at a time, and there were very few fights.
Sign-up is free through http://www.doggovision.com, and requires the owner to enter their dog’s description, disposition, favorite activities, typical daily schedules, and any triggers that drive bad behavior (e.g. mailman, vacuum cleaner, etc). Fees are based on session length, time of day, and size of group.
The DoggoVision software, in addition to using Zoom technology, uses Match.com AI algorithms to optimize dog matches globally. An owner has the capability to swipe a ‘paw’ icon if a proposed dog or dog group is objectionable. Software automatically verifies that dog preview photos are current.
According to a spokesperson from Match Group, owner of Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder and other services: “Match Group’s mission is bringing people together. DoggoVision extends this concept to our best friends, and in providing diversion for dogs, creates a little peace in the home.
Our existing software platforms were essential in developing this product in record time. This is not a simple watch-only video product – it’s fully interactive, inspired by the natural outgoing and playful spirit of dogs. There will be no equivalent version for cats. Importantly, while DoggoVision fulfills a specific need, it is not intended as a substitute for the obligations of responsible dog ownership.”