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At ACID we are researchers in Animal Computer Interaction (ACI) that look into the design of media technology for Dogs 
Animal Computer InteractionWhat is Animal Computer Interaction?

Animal Computer Interaction (ACI) is research focusing on the design, theory, implementation and all round use of machines for animals, particularly on the interface and how the animal can interact. This can be done by both observing the way animals use computers and designing computer machinery especially for animals to interact with.

What is Dog-Computer-Interaction?

With the growing anthropomorphisation of animals, especially our domesticated pets, it is only progressive to presume that the technology revolution humans’ face will be soon facing our pet companions’ as-well. Although technology has been used by dogs for along time, such as in the military, this research has been primarily focused on the human requirement aspect rather than an animal-centric approach.

This creates a gap of missing animals’ requirements/needs in Animal Computer Interaction (ACI). Animal Computer Interaction Design (ACID) group aims to explore this gap through the well explored Human Computer Interaction (HCI) lens to create a user-centric approach to interactive technology by excluding the human perspective to elicit the root requirements of dogs.

Our research aims

Our research aims to progress dog computer interaction to empower dogs to not only use technology without training but also facilitate their input of opinions upon into the technology system and help within its design. This will make improved dog computer interaction through usable and efficient technology, whilst including the dog within the design process. This leads to our overarching goal improving dogs welfare whilst learning about their cognition. 

IMG_1738 (3)Our current work

ACID research has so far creating methods to allow dogs to take a role in the technology design to create meaningful interactions. . This work is centred on creating meaningful interaction of dogs with media system (TV/computer), in a similar fashion to humans do with keyboards and remotes but instead with their body language, similar to the kinect for humans. Using this system we aim to see what a dog likes to watch, if they can choose to watch and interact with a technology system.

This has been explored through creating both methods to help dog-computer system designers in allowing a dog to participate (Doggy Ladder of Participation) whilst being in the center of the design process with the human-designer. This has lead onto a set of ethical guidelines for dog-computer interaction researchers.

We have also studied what media dogs like to watch, whilst creating a head tracker to allow dogs choices to be shown through biometrics. This has more recently been explored in creating a dog centred approach to the analysis of dogs’ interactions with media on TV screens.

Find out more on our publications page.