SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Scientists at North Carolina State University developed a new communication device for dogs in the form of a high-tech harness. Don’t worry; our anchor Jeff Bell wasn’t familiar with them either.

The harness allows dogs and humans to engage in two-way communication via computer. The contraption is called cyber-enhanced working dog.

“The harness looks like what you’d buy at the pet store,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett with the San Francisco SPCA. “But its equipped with cameras, GPS, gas sensors, all these different motors and microphones as well as a doggie treat dispenser.”

That information is then aggregated via computer that allows the human and dog to interact. It was originally developed for search and rescue.

“If you think about it, dogs are able to get into places that humans can’t and use their sense of smell to find victims of disaster,” she said.

Scarlett added that the technology could be used to help dogs become better assistance dogs and also to treat dogs with behavior disorders including things like separation anxiety.

“It’s an example of using technology to better our human animal bond, but we have to remember that nothing replaces time spent with your pet.”

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