Amidst the slumbering of winter, we techies emerged into the New Year with the promise of change, as we always do. What’s your New Year’s resolution? Whatever rabid goal may possess you this 2017, I hope it comes with an added spark of genius. My resolution is to ask “what if” more.
I’m Stephanie, and this is Lemon. Contrary to what her school picture here may suggest, Lemon is not actually enrolled in any wizard academy. However, let’s take a moment to consider if perhaps it’s not as silly a notion as it may sound. We may be seeing our companions and pets doing magic yet, perhaps even in our own lifetimes. After all, science fiction is only fiction until proven fact.
Chimps and dolphins have been taught to do some amazingly complex tasks by their own traditional standards, from gathering and starting a wood fire to aerial acrobatics on several different cues. Can you imagine the context of web design and creative digital expansion in a world where Fido and Whiskers are able to recognize, analyze and successfully use mobile apps on their very own cell phones?
Let me back up for a minute to assure you that in this hypothetical society, we wouldn’t be interested in teaching Fido to send you a text every time he wanted a treat. Instead, just consider the abstract web of decisions that might lead to such an innovation. Mobile jobs for pets would be a game-changing monkey wrench thrown into the gears, exploding forth with a myriad of delectable possibilities to map out, even if they do sound a little silly on the surface.
What do you think a cell phone made for a dog might look like? Would certain breeds rise to the top as forerunners for mobile jobs? What would the social ramifications be? What if breeders started changing their lines to meet a new physical standard now demanded by the masses of a mono-breed society, only interested in the best dog for their digital work? Could this technology create new jobs? What would the contracts look like between pet and cell carrier?
While most may groan and roll their eyes, we can all still agree that since our digital age started, rapid growth has perhaps been the only constant. Dog collars with two-way radio/cell signal already exist, as well as wireless phones meant for harnessing onto hunting dogs to issue requests. If we take out the social and ethical considerations for such a marked societal change, the only thing left is the hardware, programming and marketing.
We’ve all seen the app games for cats to play on their owner’s tablets. How far in the future do you suppose it will be when dogs, cats or even birds are pressing sequences of icons on their purrsonal phablets, cued by audio recordings of us providing instruction throughout the day? The term “service dog” seems so trite now. They can already find our missing cell phones faster than we can; do a web search if you don’t believe me.
I pose only questions today, and that’s probably for the best. As you go out for your morning, mid-day or midnight coffee, do try your best not to imagine the barista as an indentured Bloodhound in a work apron.
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