Let’s talk cats – and not the big budget film flop. Whether tabby or jellicle, cats have a lexicon all their own to express their feelings. They purr and rub against you to show their love and, conversely, they are prone to hissing and the occasional bite to demonstrate their displeasure. Wouldn’t it be cool to know exactly what’s on your furry companion’s mind? Well, a new cat translation app may give cat lovers some insight into feline feelings.
MeowTalk, created by app developer Akvelon, is the world’s first cat translator app. With the free app, which is available at both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, you can record your cat’s meow and identify the meaning. The app is currently able to provide translations for 13 common cat phrases including: “Feed me!”, “I’m angry!” and “Let me out.” If you want more insight, you can create a profile for your cat and start using the app’s auto-recognition to translate your cat’s unique meows. In addition to the common translations, you can “train” the app to recognize your cat’s specific vocabulary. If your cat’s purring, but MeowTalk thinks he’s saying, “Leave me alone!”, you can fix it through the app and select the correct translation – and the app learns with each translation you confirm.
Akvelon’s Project Manager Javier Sanchez came to the company after working on Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service. He says the app enables owners to “communicate with their cat, or at least understand their cat's intent, and build a very important connection.” The connection is poised to get even stronger, as Akvelon has a smart collar in the works. This collar would use similar cat translation technology to hear a cat’s meow and play back what the cat said with a human voice. (Think “Dug” from Pixar’s Up, with less squirrel distractions.) The prototype of the collar can also send a text message to an owner to notify them that the cat would like to come inside.
So, is the cat translator a time waster or a valuable learning tool? Both Barnes and Cubby gave MeowTalk a try with their kitties. Is it accurate? Find out what the “fur kids” had to say and find out which Pop Culture Show host “speaks cat” the best in the video above.