Messenger Dog

Messenger Dog is an informal messaging system for disaster areas. Soon after a disaster, such as an earthquake, family members and loved ones can become displaced in the city and in different refugee camps.  They may not be able to reconnect physically due to the collapsed roads or to phone each other due to the damaged networks. In those very first hours of fear and displacement, people may just want to send a message to their loved ones just to say they are alive and safe, hoping the same for them as well.

Messenger Dogs can help in recording those messages as videos and delivering them to the refugee camp they are assigned to. Messenger Dogs wear a particular uniform to be identified, equipped with a device that can record messages, store the geolocation of where each message has been taken and the time as well. Messenger Dogs are trained to sit when they meet a person, allowing the accelerometer inside the recording device to trigger the software interface to start.

The Messenger Dogs are divided into teams assigned to different refugee camps. At the end of a work day, they can come back to the camps, where volunteers will download the videos and make them available for people to browse and watch. This way, people can get to know if a family member is fine before formal communication is restored.