It’s a shared desire of many pet-owners to understand exactly what your animal is trying to say. Whether it’s the cat tearing around the house for no reason or jumping on your head in the middle of the night to meow in your ear. Don’t you just wish you could break down that language barrier? Great news, there is now an app for that.
MeowTalk comes from software company Akvelon and is a world-first in cat translation. The app uses machine learning to instantly translate cat meows into one of nine general cat intents.
Some of the translation outcomes include: I’m angry, I’m going to attack, I’m hunting, where are you, food, let me out etc. Although, as cat owners know, 95% of these translated meows are sure to result in “feed me.”
The app’s translation system differs for each individual cat, instead of a generic database of cat meows. Similar to voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, the more the app records from a single cat, the more accurate it can become. Users have the option to select Yes or No following a translation if it seems incorrect.
MeowTalk is currently in beta stages but can be downloaded on the Google Play and Apple App stores. It is free but costs a small fee to access the full app. The developers are still working out some bugs, but responses so far have been largely positive. MeowTalk has a 4.3 rating on the Google Play store and 4.0 on the Apple store.
“I think this is especially important now because, with all the social distancing that’s happening, you have people that are confined at home with a significant other – this feline. This will enable them to communicate with their cat, or at least understand their cat’s intent, and build a very important connection,” Javier Sanchez, one of the project managers on MeowTalk, said in a webinar.
Sanchez has previously worked on developing Amazon’s Alexa.
The endgame is to use the findings from the app to build a collar that can translate meows in real-time via a spoken human voice. Picture the dog, Doug, from Pixar’s Up and you’re on the right track.
But the app can’t get there without first cataloguing as many cats meows as possible, so stop questioning and start communicating with your feline friend now!