Dog Whistle


Ah – the joys of childhood. Your first time burning paper with the rays of our nearest star and a handy magnifying glass…your first time viewing the forbidden joys of an R-rated film. . . and your first time using a dog whistle to annoy the hackles off man’s best friend. Of course, nostalgia colors a man’s perception and what seemed cool when I was a boy is pretty boring now. Today, kids have much more exciting things to do with their idle time. They can throw a CD in the microwave, download things I’d never dare dream of from the Internet . . . but what’s this? They can use their iPhone or iPod Touch as a dog whistle to annoy canines? This I gotta see!

The mad genii at Augware have released their new app for the iPhone/iPod Touch upon an unsuspecting world and it is a fairly fun little application that does just what it sounds like — create a noise that only those with four legs and Alpo-breath can hear. This app, conveniently known as ‘Dog Whistle‘, is $.99 and is available for download now.

The interface of ‘Dog Whistle‘ is pretty simple. A large button at the top produces a sound when tapped. Two sliders let you choose the Frequency of the sound as well as the pattern. Frequencies range from approximately 1kHz all the way up to 20kHz. Patterns range from a single tone all the way to an oscillation that range from 200 to 1000 Hz. There’s a sound meter to let you know when sound is emitted — even it is beyond human auditory range and a ‘bark threshold’ setting that lets the device automatically emit sound when a threshold is reached.

I used the dog whistle I bought as a child to make my dog cock its ears when I blew the whistle. I’m pleased to report that Augware’s Dog Whistle had the same effect on my loving pooches who no doubt are still nursing a headache from the inaudible racket I was making. It is also fun to adjust the sound to just within human auditory limits to see how long it takes to annoy your cube mates.

Trainers could — in theory — use this app in coordination with standard training to get their charges to respond to auditory commands. For example, they could train the beast to perform a trick when one burst is made or sit with two bursts. 

In all, this app is definitely worth the shekels if one  either has canine interests at heart or for the sheer novelty factor. I found a new way to connect with both my dogs — who were on the whole not pleased — and my childhood. Now to throw some CDs in the microwave . . . .

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