Anyone who lives with pets knows that the booms, pops and bangs from fireworks can be terrifying for our furry friends because of their excellent hearing. And if the thought of Fourth of July celebrations fills you with dread on behalf of your cats and dogs, you aren’t alone.
When this bombastic holiday rolls around at my house, I start looking for ways to create background noise that will cancel out the big bangs that send one of my cats running to hide under the bed. Turn on some music, run a fan — heck, I’ll run an empty dishwasher to cover up the sound of explosives on Independence Day.
Some engineers at Ford had a similar thought, and they had the engineering know-how to do something much more effective than running a loud kitchen appliance to protect their pets. In December 2018, Ford Europe posted pictures of its own noise-canceling kennel for dogs that shelters canines from the boom of fireworks.
The company’s video about the kennel explains the prototype, has a cameo from “The Dogfather” Graeme Hall and, of course, features some adorable pups:
The kennel, which is made of high-density cork, uses the same noise-canceling technology that engineers and designers built into Ford’s Edge SUV to keep engine noise out of the car’s cabin. “When microphones pick up high levels of noise from the engine or transmission, this is counteracted using opposing sound waves from the car’s audio system,” Ford engineers explained in the blog post.
In addition to canceling out scary noises, the kennel has a snug and stylish design that appears to be pleasing to both dogs and their humans.
For as cool as Ford’s noise-canceling kennel is, it’s unclear if it will ever be produced for consumers. When it was unveiled, TechCrunch noted that it was another product in Ford’s “Interventions” initiative, which seeks out clever solutions to everyday problems using automotive technology. The same Ford initiative also developed a cot designed to soothe fussy babies by mimicking the feel of riding in a car.
Though the cot went viral (presumably with the assistance of parents everywhere who are tired of driving their babies around at all hours to get them to go to sleep), Ford never put it into production. The same is likely to be true with this revolutionary kennel, although hopefully another company will use similar technology to bring it to our homes.
A company called ZenCrate sells a high-tech crate for dogs that offers a similar experience but without noise-canceling devices. The ZenCrate is a smart device that pipes out gentle music and creates a soft flow of air through the crate when it senses that a pup is lying down inside on its memory foam surface. Check out this video to see what it’s like.
ZenCrate is currently priced at just under $680, but it’s the closest thing you’ll be able to get to the Ford prototype right now.
But here’s hoping a true noise-canceling kennel is on the way — and that someone makes a little one for our feline friends, too.