Smart vests turn stray Thai dogs into street watchers

  • 02/09/2017
There are thousands of stray dogs in Thailand.
There are thousands of stray dogs in Thailand. Photo credit: Reuters

An advertising agency in Thailand has developed a "smart vest" that could potentially turn stray dogs into guardians of Bangkok's streets and alleyways.

Equipped with a hidden video camera, the vest has sensors that transmit live streaming videos when the dog barks, showing what the dog sees via a mobile phone and computer application.

There are stray dogs on the streets of most Thai cities and the developer thought smart vests could help both the dogs and the community.

"It will make people feel that stray dogs can become night-watches for the communities," said Pakornkrit Khantaprap, who is on the creative team that came up with the idea at the Cheil advertising agency, a subsidiary of South Korea's Samsung Electronics.

Martin Turner, managing director of the Phuket-based Soi Dog Foundation, which was formed over a decade ago to save stray dogs and cats across Thailand, welcomed the initiative.

Mr Turner said there are many cases of cruelty against animals in Thailand, despite the introduction of the country's first Animal Welfare Law in late 2014, which penalises wrongdoers with a maximum two years' imprisonment and a 40,000 baht (NZ$1685) fine.

The project began in March this year and took about five months to materialise.

The developer says a lot more tests are needed before the vest can be introduced into communities for trial runs.