It seems every agency these days has a "lab" in which they can play around with technology and stumble upon interesting innovations. In other words, it's a toy room for bored grownups. But just like a 5-year-old cobbling together something of interest, sometimes interesting items do come out of these labs, even if they really are just developed for self-promotional or client promotional purposes.
The latest innovation to emerge from an agency "lab" comes from London-based adam&eveDDB and is called the Temptations Catterbox. Temptations is a Mars cat treat brand. Catterbox refers to the innovation itself, a collar that translates cat sounds into an actual human voice. While the thing is a human-created algorithm that just guesses at what a cat might be thinking, it's still sort of fun.
The collar (available in four colors!) is, of course, 3D printed because, you know, it's the latest trendlet which means everything has to be 3D printed or else it's simply not cool. Anyway, the collar incorporates a microphone, a speaker and Bluetooth technology that connects it to a mobile app which does the actual cat to human speech conversion.
Billed as "the world's first talking cat collar," the innovation analyzes different cat noises, runs those noises through a digital sensor which a program accesses to turn the cat sound into a human phrase...spoken with, in the sample case, an eloquent English accent, of course.
As is always the case in the advertising world, this idea is not a first. In 2007 Japanese toy company Takara Tomy introduced the Meowlingual Cat Translation Device, which, just like the Temptations Catterbox, translates cat sounds into human voice.