Teach Your Pet to Talk with FluentPet

Have you ever wondered what your pet would say if they could talk? FluentPet has made it possible with their innovative system.
Miniature Golden Doodle Sitting on the Couch Next to his Owner

We’ve all had conversations with our pets, even though it’s not like they can ACTUALLY talk back. But wouldn’t it be nice if they could? Have you wondered what they’d say? Maybe they’d give you a guilt trip for being away too long or ask why you’ve gotten so lazy about taking them for walks. But maybe they’d also tell you just how much they love being part of your life. 

It turns out that the concept of “talking” pets isn’t as ridiculous as you might think. There are now ways we can help our pets communicate with us, and one of those ways is brought to us by a company called FluentPet. Let’s explore this new technology so you can decide if training your dog to speak may be right for you. 

What Is FluentPet?

FluentPet system

FluentPet offers a way to train your pet to tell you when it’s hungry. It could also tell you if it needs to go outside. And it could even let you know when it’s time to play. The FluentPet system is comprised of buttons on hexagon-shaped plastic mats that the brand calls hextiles. They can be connected together for even more advanced communication.

So, how does pushing a button equal speech? Well, the buttons are programmable. The owner records their voice speaking command words like “outside,” “water,” “play,” or “ball.” Then, when the button is pressed, the voice command is played. It’s heard from a base station with a speaker attached to it. The tiles are held in place and offer visual cues for the dogs representing what each one means. And as the dog learns new words, you can add more and more tiles to help expand its vocabulary. 

The History of FluentPet

FluentPet’s founder has a background in cognitive science and Artificial Intelligence (AI). He originally created a different concept and called it CleverPet, which was more of a game for dogs. It evolved over time into the product we see today. Data from the app is now being shared with experts at Johns Hopkins in the Comparative Cognition Lab.

The original model was made famous on social media by a dog named Bunny, who was trained to press the buttons with her paws to “talk.” People were so enthralled by her that she ended up with millions of social media followers, and the company that made the buttons rode that wave of success. They’ve now worked with more than 100,000 households since starting the company in June 2020. The woman who helped make the device famous, Bunny’s owner, is the co-founder. Her knack for social media and her super-smart pet made a great marketing tool for the company. 

How Does It Work?

FluentPet system

Dogs begin to understand that pushing a special button will mean their owner will respond a certain way. With time, most dogs come to understand they just need to press the button to tell their owner what they want. Some may take longer to learn, but most are able to make the association. In fact, the company says more than 70% of dogs will learn two buttons within the first month. They suggest that the first two buttons be “play” and “outside.” The dog owner can even add an “all done” button so the pet can say when they’ve had enough.

With time, the company discovered dogs learn up to nine words with the buttons. They found that some dogs could even combine words, making communication even easier, by “asking for” or pushing buttons for things like “water” and “bone” one after the other to say they wanted an ice cube. The company calls that kind of combination a “translation.” 

FluentPet Connect

A happy senior couple with laptop and a pet dog sitting on a sofa indoors at home.

The latest version of the system is called FluentPet Connect, and it pairs with an app that notifies you when your dog presses a button while also collecting data on how the buttons are used. The update requires a Wi-Fi connection and the mobile app that gives the pet parent a heads-up when a button is pushed. This is helpful when your pet needs to go outside and you’re in another part of the house. 

The FluentPet Connect system is now available for pre-order. The starter pack costs under $150 and comes with six connected buttons, three HexTiles, and a battery-powered base station with a speaker.

It’s important to note that someone needs to train your pet on how to use the buttons, so don’t buy the system unless you know you have the patience for some training. But once you get them up and running, who knows what they may have to say to you! 

Read More:

The Pros and Cons of Pets for Empty Nesters

7 Tips For Traveling With Your Pet

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