(Hat tip: Scissorhead Purplehead)
And the LATimes goes deeper into the world of computers and cats: someone is developing video games for cats.
Whatever they do, it probably will either not work or not be practical. Sight is not 100% instantaneous; although on a human scale, light is almost instantaneous, but there is a slight delay between the time the light reaches the eye and the impulses are transmitted to and processed by our brains. What we perceive is almost a tenth of a second after the event, which is short enough for most purposes, but it has its limitations (which is why the “catch a dollar bill” trick works – or doesn’t, depending on whether you’re dropping or trying to catch the bill). Television and movies are a series of still pictures, flashed at us at rates between 24 and 50 frames per second – the faster the rate, the smoother the apparent motion. The limitations of human vision mean that faster rates do not noticeably improve the quality of the apparent motion, but slower rates definitely do. Extra slow rates mean that our brains have enough time to process the frames as a series of still pictures, like a flip book.
Cats and other hunting mammals have optic neurons that transmit impulses faster than human ones. This is why cats and dogs seldom pay attention to projected images¹, whether on film or video. The frame rate is too slow for their vision, and they do not perceive the apparent motion of the images. For cats to perceive motion in a video image, the frame rate would have to be at least twice the human rate. To achieve this, a custom screen would have to be made that is capable of 100 or more frames per second.
Even with such a scrreen, there is no guarantee that projected images would register as motion to a cat’s brain, and if it did, that it could be made and sold at a price that the market could support.
¹I had a cat who appeared to watch TV, but when I experimented, I found that he lost interest when the sound was off. He also lost interest when I replaced my CRT TV with an LED screen.
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I should have said, “…but slower rates definitely degrade the quality of perceived motion.”
B-b-bbbuttt, one of my kitties often sits on my lap when I’m watching a streaming live safari broadcast from South Africa or various streaming live bird nest sites. She watches animals moving; I watch her tracking their movements. She often reaches out to touch them as they move.
Cats are individuals, and your kitty may have a slower neural transmission rate than normal for cats, just as human vision varies from individual to individual. For most of my life, my own vision was 20/10, meaning that I could see detail at 20 feet from an eye chart that people with normal eyesight could only make out from 10 feet, leaving me as the only one in my family who didn’t need glasses. My cat who watched TV also tracked movement, but, as I said, he lost interest if I muted the sound. I had another cat who, when I played sound effects of a kitten meowing in distress on my computer would search my office for the poor lost kitty. The other cats ignored the sounds. Either they weren’t fooled or they weren’t interested.
“Hey Mork, you heard what that Orange Human Leader said today, right? Ya know the one about he takes that h**********nine everyday & He feels fine!! HA!! That was just TODAY!!”
“Yea, Mindy, I caught that. He needs to take “The Chaser”.”
“Let’s run down the whole weekend of the Idiot’s tweets. They are HILIRIOUS !!”
“Except for the fact that Americans are dying DAILY & getting really sick, they would be funny,”
“Shush, the KGB, I mean the SS might be eavesdropping!”
“Over & Out !!”
I have an app on my phone called Cat Snaps. There are several modes: Play mode just moves a colored dot around on a black screen. Photo Mode is great — same as play mode, but the entire screen becomes a camera button, and it lets the cat take selfies. I have some great pix from it.
It has ads, but they dismiss easily.
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