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AMS Spring 2023

Canine Paparazzi: Nikon Creates Personal Camera for Dogs with 3D Printed Smartcase

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Nikon-logoWhen I was a kid, I was (like many of us are, I’m sure) fascinated by the fact that dogs could only see in black and white. My family had a spunky and very unruly Scottish Terrier named Bernie. I spent a lot of time with him wondering what it was like to see through those twinkling, dark brown eyes. What did a day in our household look like? A walk down the street? I often wondered how he saw my world.

Apparently the team at Nikon Asia, employing their new Nikon Coolpix L31 camera protected within a 3D printed case, had the very same idea (albeit many years later) with Heartography, which consists of:

  • Heartbeat monitor
  • Camera
  • Special 3D printed Heartography Smartcase

Heart_3Allowing us all to see the world from the canine level (in full color–if you’d like), and at the same time, see exactly what it is that makes them excited, Nikon created the device to perform via a conductive band that monitors heartbeat levels, which are sent right to the camera via Bluetooth. The dog wears the band around its neck with the camera and its 3D printed case out front and center.

Once the elevated heart rate signal is received by the camera, it automatically triggers the shutter and begins to focus.

With heart rate triggering the device, there’s no telling what your dog might be showing you on video, from squirrels scampering up pine trees to the attractive hindquarters of your neighbors’ perky dachshund. Think GoPro for the pet, or as Nikon says, it’s a device that “turns emotions into photographs.”

Heartography-2 (1)

An example of Grizzler’s photography, as he gets together with a buddy

It should be interesting to see what causes your dog’s heart rate to go up enough for snapping a photograph. Through your dog’s daily photograph album, you may be able to discover a lot more about its personality than you ever thought imaginable. If you have multiple dogs, it’s even more interesting to see how their ideas of what’s exciting differ and to see what different photos they would come up with during the same day. One might be curious about nibbling ankles, while the other is busy checking out and salivating over your roast beef sandwich laid out for that cozy picnic lunch.

While we do love to share with our pets for the most part, from outdoor excursions to roadtrips and healthy treats, usually it’s not through technology. With the widespread use of portable cameras like the GoPro though, it was just a matter of time before all the active dogs out there sporting kerchiefs and sunglasses received personal cameras to show off their own level of expertise with the lens.dog

For Nikon’s mascot Grizzler, it’s all about the food–yours, mine, and his, as well as the cat’s. He’s also, not surprisingly, very excited by the prospect of seeing his peers, as well as cornering the neighbor’s cantankerous looking cat. This “pho-dog-grapher” shows some great zest for life–and did we mention food? Hurry up and crank open those baked beans, please!

As far as Grizzler’s photos go, we can just eat them up all day long. Is this a device that interests you for your own dog? Discuss in the Camera for Dogs with 3D Printed Smartcase forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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