Many four legged, furry family members are afraid of fireworks. While many humans’ enjoy fireworks, their best friends’ dread is understandable. In fact, it’s a biological imperative. Dogs have more acute hearing than humans do, so fireworks sound especially loud to them.
The loud, sudden sound of fireworks and the difficulty of escaping from that sound, especially on July fourth in The United States, when many Americans set off fireworks to celebrate the anniversary of their country’s independence from Great Britain it triggers a fight or flight response in many dogs, who perceive the sound as a threat. In an effort to make July fourth as enjoyable for dogs as it is for the humans who love them, The Ford Motor Company, an automobile company headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, has invented a noise canceling kennel for anxious dogs.
In 2018, Ford released a prototype for, The Quiet Kennel. The designers of The Quiet Kennel modeled its technology after the noise canceling technology used in Ford’s Edge Sport Utility Vehicle. [This decision is practical from a marketing perspective as well as from a design perspective, as it means each product can serve as a subtle advertisement for the other.]
The Quiet Kennel has acoustic isolation panels, soundproof ventilation, anti-vibration block risers, and an automatic door. When microphones inside the kennel detect the sound of fireworks, an audio system emits opposing frequencies to cancel out (or at least reduce) the fireworks, in order to spare a dog’s sensitive hearing, and hopefully calm the dog. Ford developed the kennel as part of its larger effort to use its technologies to benefit people (and their pets) in their daily lives.
When Henry Ford released the Model-T in 1928, he provided a practical, reliable form of transportation for workers. With its Interventions series, the company aims to bring the same practical, technologically advanced approach to daily living. The Quiet Kennel is the first prototype in a product line that also includes, The Lane Keeping Bed and The Self Braking Trolley.
According to the Ford Motor Company’s European Group Creative Director, Bryn Attewell, Interventions will, “take driving technology out Ford cars and use it to tackle everyday problems and challenges.” In a series of “short films” (extended commercials) called, Interventions, Social, Attewell shows how the new products can be integrated into consumers’ daily lives.
In one commercial, self-braking trolleys prevent the eager, unruly children who are pushing them through the grocery store from damaging grocery store displays. In another, The Lane Keeping Bed promotes peace between romantic partners by keeping one from inadvertently claiming another’s space while the two are sharing the same bed.
Since The Quiet Kennel is the only Interventions product that currently has an existing prototype, the world Attewell envisions, one where Ford technology enriches all aspects of daily living, doesn’t yet exist. If early reviews for The Silent Kennel are any indication though, it could. The website, Uncrate, gives the idea for the kennel thirteen out of ten stars.[H/T Ford, Uncrate]