Ford will start 2019 on a high note. It will travel to the Detroit Auto Show to introduce a high-performance variant of the Mustang called GT500 and, most likely, the next-generation Explorer. But before the sheets come off, it’s ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market for the first time. The company has plucked noise-canceling technology from its vehicle portfolio to give dogs a quieter place to sleep, especially when fireworks go off.
“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could help people in other situations. Making sure dogs and their owners could enjoy a stress-free New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect application for our Active Noise Control system,” said Lyn West, Ford of Europe’s brand content manager, in a statement.
At its core, the noise-canceling technology in Ford’s Quiet Kennel relies on the same hardware and software found in many headphones and a handful of Ford models, including the Edge and the Fusion. It relies on microphones integrated into the kennel to detect the sound of fireworks. The kennel’s built-in sound system emits opposing frequencies to muffle as much of the noise as possible. A generous amount of sound-deadening material and integrated cork — a natural sound absorbant — are incorporated into the design.
Speaking of design, Ford didn’t settle for a basic, house-shaped kennel. Stylists designed an elegant, modern-looking doghouse that resembles a piece of expensive Swedish furniture, not something dog owners pick up from the local pet store. It’s big enough for one dog, though you may be able to squeeze two chihuahuas in it. Either way, your pooch enters the kennel through an automatic glass door, and benefits from a quiet ventilation system.
Ford notes its Quiet Kennel is merely a prototype for the time being, not a preview of a product it will sell to consumers in the near future. The company also points out the doghouse represents its first effort in a series of initiatives called Interventions that aims to leverage automotive knowledge and technology to solve everyday problems. We’re looking forward to seeing the other clever solutions the Blue Oval comes up with.