A gadget that analyses a dog’s whines and growls and translates them into words will be launched next year.

The “Bow-lingual”, developed by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Co. Ltd, consists of a six-centimetre dog collar microphone that transmits sounds to a palm-sized console. The console uses 200 different words, including “fun”, “boring” and “happy”, to translate six basic dog “emotions” in real time.

New Scientist: Gadget puts words in dog’s mouth

Update: This actually was released, and was selected by Time as one of the best inventions of 2002, even though it didn’t really work (the Roomba was selected that year as well). See Wikipedia for details.