The Blue Oval's noise-canceling tech lends a hand to man's best friend.
Ford makes cars. Trucks too. But this latest development isn't a vehicle at all. It's a kennel. You know, for dogs.
Though just a prototype for the time being, Ford has applied the noise-canceling technology it's developed for vehicles like the Edge crossover to an experimental cocoon of sorts for canines. Beyond just looking cool, the idea is to be able to shelter dogs' ears from the sound of fireworks that will be set off around the world to ring in the new year – something that can really freak out our four-legged friends.
"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," said Graeme "The Dogfather" Hall, one of the UK's foremost dog trainers and a specialist in canine behavior. "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."
The conceptual kennel uses microphones and speakers to detect and cancel-out the sound of fireworks, which is estimated to scare about 45 percent of dogs (in the UK at least).
The haven also uses the same kind of high-density cork you'd find in recording studios to further dampen the intrusion of noise from the outside. It's the first in a series of "Interventions" – initiatives that seek to extend Ford's expertise beyond the development and production of automobiles.
"We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could be applied to help in other situations," said Ford's Lyn West. "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."