New Developments for FIDO Project

Wearable tech isn't just for people. College of Computing Associate Professor Melody Jackson and her team, including researchers Thad Starner and Clint Zeagler, are making significant progress on FIDO, or Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations. The high-tech vest for dogs is a wearable computer designed to help assistance dogs communicate with their handlers. By activating one of the sensors on the high-tech vest, dogs can send either audible cues or text notifications to their handler’s smartphone.

Jackson and the FIDO team continue to develop and test new features for the device. "We have created and tested nine different sensors for dogs to activate, and tested them with eight dogs," said Jackson.

The team has also created a haptic bodysuit that allows users to silently communicate with working dogs, and is studying touch screens for dogs. Beyond helping disabled people, FIDO also has applications for bomb-sniffing dogs and rescue dogs.