Audiobooks for dogs is now a thing, but will you buy one?

Books for dogs. It’s not clear if there was a glaring gap in the market for such an offering, but Audible has nevertheless teamed up with dog behaviorist Cesar Millan to launch a carefully selected collection of audiobooks to keep your canine calm whenever you leave the house.

Audible for Dogs” should also give pet owners peace of mind, the company said in a release, “knowing the dog will have the comfort of a human voice.”

To be clear, Audible isn’t claiming that dogs will understand any of the storylines or become engaged enough to start requesting novels from particular authors. It’s merely suggesting that your animal will feel calmer whenever they’re deprived of human companionship at home.

“Dogs are social animals, so they need to engage with someone and the purpose of Audible for Dogs is to make dogs feel there is someone with them,” Millan said.

“The person performing the audiobook is actually keeping your dog calm and taking the dog to a resting state, acting as an extension of you.”

To ensure that it wasn’t barking up the wrong tree with its fascinating idea, Millan’s Dog Psychology Center conducted research with 100 dog owners, with 76 percent who played audiobooks for their pooch “reporting an increase in calm, relaxed behavior [in their dog] over a four-week period.”

The current selection of curated audiobook titles, each one with a personalized introduction from Millan about their canine appeal, includes Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, described as “a heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope.” Starring a dog.

Other picks include the bear-focused Winnie the Pooh and, for mutts interested in early science fiction novels, Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.

One of several videos promoting Audible for Dogs shows Millan chatting with a woman called Leslie who has a dog named Buddy.

“When I leave him I can’t help feeling he has feelings of desertion … I think he doesn’t understand what’s going on,” Leslie tells Millan. And it’s true, Buddy does look confused when Leslie walks out of the door, though it might be because there’s a camera crew in his house. It’s really hard to say.

While some may see Audible for Dogs as a cynical attempt to exploit dog owners’ feelings of guilt about leaving their animals alone, others will totally get Audible’s idea and may even give it a whirl.

Of course, if you don’t fancy forking out for an audiobook, you can always leave the radio or TV on when you head out, something lots of dog owners already do.

Emerging Tech

Moxi the ‘friendly’ hospital robot wants to help nurses, not replace them

Moxi is a "friendly" hospital robot from Texas-based Diligent Robotics. The wheel-based bot, which begins trials this week, aims to free nurses from routine tasks so they can spend more time with patients.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime Now: Here's exactly what it can do for you

Amazon Prime Now offers delivery of your purchased goods in just two hours. That means you get the convenience of online shopping coupled with the instant gratification of in-store purchases.
Smart Home

Dirty coffee makers brew gross coffee. Here's how to clean your machine

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.
Emerging Tech

How do 3D printers work? Here’s a super-simple breakdown

How do 3D printers work, exactly? If you ever wondered how these magical machines create 3D objects in a matter of hours, then look no further than this dead-simple breakdown of the four most common printing technologies.
Emerging Tech

Giant wind farm in Morocco will help mine cryptocurrency, conserve energy

One of the windiest parts of Morocco is set to get a $2 billion wind farm power plant, which could help power eco-friendly cryptocurrency mining in a more environmentally friendly way.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Robots are going to steal 75 million jobs by 2025 — but there’s no need to panic

According to the World Economic Forum, robots and A.I. will take 75 million jobs from hardworking humans by 2025. That's the bad news. The good news is that they will create far more jobs than that.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Emerging Tech

An A.I. is designing retro video games — and they’re surprisingly good

Researchers from Georgia Tech have demonstrated how artificial intelligence can be used to create brand-new video games after being shown hours of classic 8-bit gaming action for inspiration.
Smart Home

Amazon might open 3,000 cashier-free Amazon Go stores by 2021

According to new reporting by Bloomburg, anonymous sources within Amazon say that CEO Jeff Bezos is considering opening up to 3,000 of the company's cashier-less, experimental Amazon Go stores by 2021.
Emerging Tech

Wormlike motion sculptures show how athletes move in 3D

Researchers at MIT have developed a system that offers athletes a unique way to visualize their bodies in motion. An algorithm scans 2D videos of a person in motion, and generates data points that can be 3D-printed into "motion sculptures."
Emerging Tech

Harvard’s soft robotic exosuit adapts itself to the needs of every wearer

Harvard engineers have developed a new multi-joint, textile-based soft robotic exosuit, designed to help soldiers, firefighters, and other rescue workers. Here's what makes it so exciting.