More than three years ago, this column featured Bowlingual, a Japanese device that used a special algorithm to translate a dog's bark, body language and basic emotions into a phrase depicted on a handheld display (Meowlingual did the same for cats).

More than three years ago, this column featured Bowlingual, a Japanese device that used a special algorithm to translate a dog's bark, body language and basic emotions into a phrase depicted on a handheld display (Meowlingual did the same for cats).

Fast-forward to 2009, and that gadget has gone higher tech.

The gadget's sensor collar still goes around your dog's neck. However, the wireless display we owners carry around now adds voice to our pet's thoughts.

This next-generation version - Bowlingual Voice - hit stores in Japan just this week (about $212 at takaratomy.co.jp). Until this product is released in the USofA, though, any spoken-word translation of your dog's thoughts will be heard in Japanese only.

Bowlingual Voice can also record your pet's barks throughout the day so you have a complete record of whether the day was a joy or a bitch (no pun intended). An answering machine function gives you access to that record whenever you and your dog are separated.

If waiting for the English version of Bowlingual Voice to learn about your pet's day isn't an option, Amazon currently sells the National Geographic Pet's-Eye View Camera ($34).

While this gadget doesn't get into your pet's head like the Bowlingual, it's a lightweight camera that attaches to your dog's collar under his head. The camera snaps 640-by-480-resolution pictures at the interval you set (every 1, 5 or 15 minutes) up to the camera's capacity of about 35 pictures.

Once you arrive home, you can view those images on your computer. If one of the photos shows something other than your sleeping dog's chin, the dog's butt or one of its other nether regions, you can produce 4-by-6-inch prints of your photographic finds. The Pet's-Eye View Camera is housed in a durable and waterproof case.

In the useless-but-someone-must-buy-this-stuff category is the Poop Freeze Aerosol Freeze Spray ($9 at entirelypets.com).

Do you hate the smell and consistency of the waste your dog creates - and you have to pick up? As the name implies, Poop Freeze freezes that poop (indoors or out) to a temperature of minus-62 F. That means less smell and less mess to pick up for you. As the manufacturer says, "Just Frost and Toss."

Would we buy any of this stuff if we didn't love our pets?

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com