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Bark twice for bear – hunting dogs get mobile phones

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Some while back, when the times were still good, Nokia was happily predicting that the reason mobile phone sales would continue to grow was because people would have several apiece. You know, the cool one for clubbing, the chunkier one for email, the waterproof one for scuba-diving... Well that all turns out to be far too unimaginative - why the blazes stop at people?

The fiendish Fins (who else) at Benefon have developed mobile phones for dogs, and aparently convinced at least one vertical market that there's a compelling use for them. It's part of a co-development effort with Pointer, which makes tracking devices for hunting dogs, and it combines GSM and GPS, so you know where your dog is. But um, why are you phoning it?

Well, you're telling it what to do, for starters, and (we really find this bit difficult to believe, but it's August) you can tell what kind of animal the hound's onto by its bark. We presume that if the dog's phoned you, then the phone has to be woof-activated. Big sales for it in September, when the Fins start going after elk.

We can't seem to find any English language data on this at the Benefon site, and although it appears to us this story was first broken by AP, we can't find an English version of that either. But over at Yahoo! you'll find a German version, and the magpies over at the Press Association have an English version here.

Lastly, how could we mention hunting without poking fun at our old friend Joachim Kempin again? Yes, we know they were deer, not antelope. Don't write. ®

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