That’s right: In case you missed it the first time I said it, Sony is ready to help put your cat on Twitter. The device, developed in conjunction with the University of Tokyo, weighs a maximum of five percent of a cat’s total weight and is worn like a collar, so cats won’t “refuse it and take it off.”
Contained in the lifelogging device is a camera, an acceleration sensor, a GPS and other equipment which tracks activities like eating, sleep and walking. The data can be transmitted to a PC through a wireless Bluetooth connection, which will then automatically post comments to Twitter based on what the cat is doing, such as “This tastes good” when the cat is eating. Currently the software has only 11 fixed phrases that can be sent to Twitter but scientists at SCSL are working around the clock to increase that number and to incorporate past actions into new tweets with comments like “Meals taste better after a walk” if the cat eats immediately after walking.
Also embedded in the unit is software that will automatically recognize faces of other cats in images taken by the camera. Sony scientists were able to turn that dream into reality by using images of several thousand cats, found online, as reference data. Whether the software will append lines like “i did it for the lulz” to the pictures in bold type was not revealed.
I’m a cat owner myself and as such I find this thing interesting, but I wonder if perhaps the Sony science team is overthinking it a bit, particularly with regards to the built-in Twitter phrases. Based on what I know of cats, 11 isn’t too few, it’s too many. “Eating,” “sleeping,” “peeing where I’m not supposed to,” “want out,” “want in,” “killing for food,” “killing for fun” and “breakin ur stuff,” I think, pretty much covers it.
Yeah, they’re so cute, aren’t they?