A scientist at the University of Glasgow will help dogs call their owners and ease separation anxiety.
The new invention, which is believed to be the first of its kind, is the brainchild of Dr. Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, her labrador Zack and colleagues from a university in Finland.
The system has been dubbed DogPhone and works when a pet picks up and shakes a ball fitted with an accelerometer. When the device senses movement it prompts a video call on a screen connected to the device.
Dr. Hirskyj-Douglas, a specialist in animal-computer interaction at the University's School of Computing Science, said: "There are hundreds of internet-connected 'smart toys' on the market that dog owners can buy for their pets.
"However, the vast majority of them are built with the needs of dog owners in mind, allowing them to observe or interact with their pets while away from home.
"Very few of them seem to consider what dogs themselves might want, or how technology might benefit them as living beings with thoughts and feelings of their own."