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Is there facial recognition technology for dogs?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
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Chances are you've heard about how law enforcement agencies are using facial recognition programs. In a nutshell, this technology compares the facial features of a person in a photograph with those shown in another photo (or video frame). You may even use this sophisticated software to unlock your smartphone or tablet.

But what does that have to do with dogs?

Innovative facial recognition apps for dogs (and their owners)

The same cutting-edge technology that makes it possible to identify people also works for our canine friends. And that capability is already being put to use by a few dog-loving app developers.

One app that’s making waves is the aptly named Finding Rover (www.findingrover.com). Available for free, this app works on both Android phones and iPhones.

Another free app dog lovers may consider downloading is called PiP (www.petrecognition.com). Like Finding Rover, this app works on both types of phones.

The registration procedure for both apps is similar. You start by uploading photos of your pet and entering your contact info. That information becomes part of the app’s database, which can be accessed by participating shelters, rescue organizations, animal control departments, veterinarians, etc. When a lost dog is discovered by these groups, they take a photo of the pooch and the app does the rest. If the dog is in the database, the facial recognition technology finds the matching criteria and the owner is notified.

Over time, more and more organizations are using this technology to reunite lost dogs with their worried families. To you, as a loving pet parent, this means you have one more tool at your disposal—along with ID microchips, lost-dog posters, etc.—to help bring your furry friend home. We love happy endings!

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