We jumped at the chance to take the new Bow-Lingual Connect software for wireless ‘walkies’ recently. Takara, makers of the popular canine speech translator, had a dog to lend us, but it fell ill. Then a friendly ballerina’s French Bulldog pulled out at the last minute, so we conducted this highly unscientific test on Vodafone’s V601SH handset by Sharp using our own pre-recorded (with Movie Sha-Mail) video of a since-deceased beagle. We may have been barking up the wrong tree with this approach, or howling mad to try to make sense of Bow-Lingual, but even if Takara’s mobile version is a bit beastly, it shouldn’t distract from the unit itself, which is a jolly good cell phone. Full Program Run-time 11:38
All we needed was a pony to give you a real show…
Touted as a function that helps customers understand their canines better, we found that, well – as you can see, Bow-Lingual Connect does work, of sorts. What bemused us was that the same dog with the same bark appears to promote different responses, or more specifically that our featured demised beagle didn’t know whether he wanted to roll over Beethoven or savage our hands off. At least the menus click-through just fine.
And to be fair, Bow-Lingual isn’t designed to cope with noises coming out of a mobile phone. Vodafone KK spokesperson Matthew Nicholson points out that a TV crew recently turned up to play its own tricks, using a VHS-recorded bark broadcast on a decent-quality speaker.
“They hooked it up and we can say that the barks and the interpretations all corresponded quite nicely and they [the TV crew] left quite satisfied that Bow-Lingual worked,” Nicholson said.
Since its launch last year, Index Corporation has been offering its “Bow-Net” service on Vodafone KK’s Vodafone Live! mobile Internet service, allowing customers to communicate with other users, download various data, and access additional fun features – such as an Osaka-dialect version of the bark translator. Unfortunately, we at Wireless Watch Japan are not familiar with Kansai dialect, so we hesitated to try to pick up any dogs from Osaka from the streets of Shibuya.
Meanwhile Nicholson, although unable to provide those all-important sales numbers, indicated that shipments were also trotting along decently.
– The Editors