Ubicomp for animal welfare: envisioning smart environments for kenneled dogs

Mancini, Clara; van der Linden, Janet; Kortuem, Gerd; Dewsbury, Guy; Mills, Daniel and Boyd, Paula (2014). Ubicomp for animal welfare: envisioning smart environments for kenneled dogs. In: Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2014), ACM Press pp. 117–128.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2632048.2632073

URL: http://dl.acm.org/authorize?N88191

Abstract

Whilst the ubicomp community has successfully embraced a number of societal challenges for human benefit, including healthcare and sustainability, the well-being of other animals is hitherto underrepresented. We argue that ubicomp technologies, including sensing and monitoring devices as well as tangible and embodied interfaces, could make a valuable contribution to animal welfare. This paper particularly focuses on dogs in kenneled accommodation, as we investigate the opportunities and challenges for a smart kennel aiming to foster canine welfare. We conducted an in-depth ethnographic study of a dog rehoming center over four months; based on our findings, we propose a welfare centered framework for designing smart environments, integrating monitoring and interaction with information management. We discuss the methodological issues we encountered during the research and propose a smart ethnographic approach for similar projects.

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