Here it is: this is the Messenger Dog, as you could come luckily across with in the school garden while me, Matt and Timo were shooting videos and taking pics.
After 10 days of development, we eventually got to try the uniform on 2 different dogs and have some fun with them. The dog owners were really happy to help and they also understood quite soon that the uniform was about “a special corp of dogs”, maybe used for rescue or some kind of aids. I actually think they were curious to have their dog to be part of the project!
Maybe it is good now to have a little and clear summary of the project.
Messenger dog is an informal messaging system for disastered cities.
Soon after a disaster happens, such as an hearthquake, family members and beloved ones could get displaced in the city and in different refugees camps, being not able either to reconnect physically due to the collapsed roads or to phone each other due to the network not working.
In those very first hours of fear and displacement, people may just want to send a message to their beloved ones only saying that they are alive and safe, hoping the same for them as well.
Messanger Dogs can help in recording those messages as video message and delivering them to the refugee camp they are assigned to.
Messanger Dogs wear a particular uniform to identify them, equipped with a device that can record messages, store geolocation of where each message was taken and the time as well. Messanger dogs are trained to sit when in front of a person, so as soon as one of them meets a person, it sits, allowing the accelerometer inside the recording device to trigger the interface software to start. In our prototype we used an IPod running Nada Mobile from Tellart to simulate the device.
The Messanger Dogs are divided into team, assigned to different refugee camp. At the end of their work, they can come back to the camp, where volunteers will download the video and make them available to the people to browse among and watch. In this way people could get to know a familiar is fine before the formal communication would be restored.
Here you can find a video we developed together with the teachers Matt Cottam, Timo Arnall and Jack Schulze during their weekend Very Short Stories workshop.
VIDEO_MESSENGER DOG: http://vimeo.com/8975014
In the following pictures, you find the very first dog wearing the messenger uniform in Copenhagen (always recruited at the school garden). In the sequence of pictures, you can go through the all interaction with it and the different screen of the display.
The first messenger dog in Copenhagen, recruited in the school garden
The side of the uniform, with the screen and the keypad
The logo of the messenger dog corps
As soon as the dog meets a person, it is trained to sit. The accelerometer in the I Pod detects the sitting position and triggers the interface software to start
Typing the recipient name on the dog keypad, in this case to my sister Silvia
Recording a video message for my sister, hope she has recovered in another camp
Ready to send it
Now the messenger dog can deliver my message to the refugee camp
The diagram of the Messenger Dogs flow in the collapsed city
Thanks to Matt Cottam for the pictures of the white messenger dog.