As per a spokesperson from the organisation who spoke to Interesting Engineering at CES 2024, there has been a noticeable rise in the number of people adopting dogs during the pandemic due to the need for companionship while staying at home. However, with the relaxation of pandemic restrictions and people returning to work, pets are often left alone at home for long periods of time. This can lead to dogs feeling anxious, depressed, and displaying signs of nervousness, which is not something they are used to experiencing.
"Dogs get separation anxiety," the representative said. "Our music is for them."
A team led by Sho Hatakeyama collaborated with a composer to conduct music research and identify calming melodies and tempos for dogs. They then trained an AI model to generate music tailored for soothing dogs. After two years of experiments, One By One Music collaborated with Katsuji Uetake, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Azabu University in Japan, to scientifically measure cortisol levels in dogs' saliva. The results showed that listening to the specially crafted music reduced anxiety-related behaviours in dogs by an impressive 84%.
In an interview with WanQol, a Japanese website for dog lovers, Hatakeyama shared that his background in space-related studies did not deter him from creating One By One Music. "I have always loved animals and had a Pomeranian called Pal when I was a child," Hatakeyama said. "After the remote work period ended and I went back to working in the office, I started keeping my dog at home. Being home alone for my dog was really stressful, and he didn't seem to be doing well."
"So I looked into it and found out that there is an increasing number of dogs with separation anxiety disorder. I wondered if there was a way to reduce the stress caused by anxiety and decided to do something about it."
One By One Music is providing its product via three different subscription plans. These include an individual plan, which costs about $7 per month, a corporate plan priced at roughly $20.5 per month, and a special protection plan that is exclusively available to animal welfare facilities, shelters, and foster families at no cost. The company has pledged to donate a portion of its revenue to animal welfare, and they are presently offering a free trial.