Enhancing Pet Bird Enrichment Through Touchscreen Technology

Enhancing Pet Bird Enrichment Through Touchscreen Technology

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

It had to happen, but no one predicted this was the path.

For decades we’ve heard the refrain “Robots are coming for you.”

“Robots will replace your jobs.”

We got it wrong, “Our birds want to conquer the world.”

And this my friends is how they are going to do it.

You’ve heard the term “the internet is available to everyone?”

Well guess what, that young tongue-clicking bundle of feathers sitting on your should watching everything as you go down another Facebook rabbit hole has been “mind mapping” every action you take

Unlocking Potential: Parrots and Touchscreen Devices

Touchscreen devices have become an integral part of human life, presenting an exciting opportunity for enriching the lives of animals.

Among these creatures, parrots stand out with their remarkable cognitive abilities, sharp visual perception, and a unique capability to interact with capacitive screens using their nimble tongues.

This makes them particularly suited to benefit from the advancements in touchscreen technology.

I think birds will be less likely to “wander” too much staying focused on their desired search.

Addressing a Gap: Parrot Stimuli and Tablet Interaction Design

Despite the potential benefits, many pet parrots lack sufficient stimulation in their environments, necessitating cost-effective solutions utilizing readily available devices.

However, the current design standards for tablet applications primarily cater to human interaction, often neglecting the specific tactile needs of parrots. 

Bridging the Divide: A Study on Parrot Interaction with Touchscreens

To bridge this gap, we undertook a study* involving 20 pet parrots, observing their tactile interactions with touchscreens and assessing the relevance of existing Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) models.

Our investigation shed light on distinctive ergonomic characteristics inherent to parrots, such as their tendency for pronounced multi-tap behavior and the importance of target size in touchscreen interactions.

Now we know our birds are looking for the same things we are in a tablet except of course the financing APR.

Insights and Recommendations: Tailoring Enrichment for Companion Parrots

Drawing from our findings*, we propose tailored guidelines for developing tablet-based enrichment systems designed specifically for companion parrots.

These guidelines emphasize the importance of optimizing touch targets to accommodate the unique physiology and behavior of parrots, ultimately enhancing their well-being through interactive technology.

Now we have to figure out if our bird likes Android or IOS better.

*Title: No More Angry Birds: Investigating Touchscreen Ergonomics to Improve Tablet-Based Enrichment for Parrots
Creator: Kleinberger, Rébecca, Northeastern University
Date created: March 20, 2024

April 15, 2024,

Hi Mitch and Catherine,

thank you so much for your valuable posts over the years. I am a big fan of yours. I was so glad to see your article about birds and technology. I have been considering introducing My Senegal parrot Gonzo to a computer tablet. I have been looking into this issue for a while and am going to give it a try.

Best,

Lynn H

Dear Lynn

Our Barney (cockatiel) is an odd duck. He came to us in 2020 as a rescue found in a hoarder’s home. He was quiet and shy. Then he over time found his voice and uses it all the time. LOL. He won’t allow us to touch him but in the mornings will fly over to my drapes, Then he lets me pick him up and drop him on my pillow by a small mirror. He may start talking incessantly or just wander my pillow and look at me like he wants something. I have taken many videos of him in my bed but over time, how many more can I make and share? So now, he is enjoying watching himself in some of my older videos.

The things we do for our birds.

Catherine

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