New Year's Eve can be a stressful time for household pets, who are often frightened by the sound of celebratory fireworks outside, along with music and festivities inside.
To help combat this, carmaker Ford has created a prototype dog kennel which uses noise-cancelling technology to block out unpleasant sounds, while still giving the dog an opportunity to be social.
Just like the headphones which make long haul flights so much more bearable, the kennel has microphones on the outside which capture external sounds. A processor analysis these sounds and creates the opposite frequencies, which are then played through speakers on the inside of the kennel, resulting in quietness.
As with noise-cancelling headphones, the technology works best when there is a general din of noise around the kennel - like the music and loud talking of a house party, but will also help to smother the sounds of explosive fireworks outside. The technology could also be used to help filter out the sound of thunderstorms.
Data gathered by Ford in the UK reveals that 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear fireworks, causing distress for their owners as well as themselves.
The company adds: "One possible answer could be a noise-cancelling kennel that uses similar technology to that found in cars and headphones to protect sensitive canine ears and ensure owners do not have to banish pets away from the rest of the family."
As well as the noise-cancelling tech, the kennel features a cork construction which helps to further dampen sounds.
While Ford - or a company using similar technologies - could one day put the kennel into production, the prototype for now is being used to demonstrate the company's in-car noise-cancelling tech. Found in the Edge SUV, the technology helps to remove the sounds of tire, wind and engine noise which can become tiresome on long highway journeys.
The dog kennel is the first in a series of products to come from Ford, where the company will show how car-based technology can help solve everyday problems.