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Israeli jailers listen to guard dogs with interpreter ware

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Israeli prison officers are using high-tech computer canine interpreter communications gear to understand messages barked by patrolling guard dogs, according to reports.

"It collects the dogs' barks through microphones... and sorts and grades them," said Noam Tavor, head of the Israeli prison service K-9 branch, describing the Bio-Sense dogphone package in use by his teams. Tavor was speaking to Army Radio, reported by AP.

It seems that Israeli prison dogs frequently patrol unaccompanied by human handlers. Comms are in place allowing control-centre jailers to hear reports barked by the canine warders, but it seems that messages frequently aren't understood.

"The dogs would bark, and staff of the prison wouldn't hear it, or would hear it and would not take action fast enough," said Tavor. There is apparently a bit of an issue with perceived false reporting - the so-called "dog who cried wolf" issue.

That's where Bio-Sense stepped in. After recording many sample barks in different situations, the Tel-Aviv based company developed software which could detect the dog's stress level, distinguishing the "emergency bark" from casual conversational woofs about the weather, interesting turds in the vicinity, etc.

Bio-Sense voice-stress dog alert modules can be placed in handy locations around a prison perimeter, allowing the furry jailers to raise the alarm easily. Apparently three Israeli prisons are already so equipped, as well as various private customers.

Thus far, it seems that Bio-Sense has the prison canine lie-detector dog-and-bone market to itself.

Read the AP/Army Radio coverage here. ®

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