Ford's noise-cancelling doghouse keeps pups calm during fireworks

Rover can stay relaxed during the holidays.

Many dogs and other pets are terrified of fireworks, and for good reason -- their more sensitive hearing makes that pleasant popping turn into a cacophony of sounds. Ford, however, might provide some relief. The company (which is no stranger to high-tech beds) has built a doghouse that uses noise cancelling to minimize canine agony during fireworks shows. Like the technology in some headphones and Ford's own Edge SUV, the kennel detects explosions with microphones and counteracts them by pumping out frequencies that mitigate the sounds or eliminate them altogether. The body includes soundproofing cork panels, anti-vibration risers and even soundproofed ventilation, while an automatic door helps your pooch quickly take shelter.

This is only a prototype ("for now," Ford said), and it's not exactly in the automaker's core area of expertise. Even so, it's easy to see something like this becoming a real product in the future. Owners routinely have to go out of their way to spare their dogs' hearing, particularly in countries where fireworks are a regular part of holiday celebrations. With Ford's invention, you might only have coax your pet into taking a nap while you enjoy the spectacle.