Using Facial Recognition to Help Find Lost Dogs

Whether it be at the mall, casino or airport, facial recognition technology is starting to be utilized more and more. While it may seem a bit intrusive, there are a few benefits. Along with helping to improve security in public places, it may also find your dog if it happens to go missing.

Alibaba backed facial recognition startup Megvii has launched a new AI biometric recognition system that can identify individual dogs by their nose print. Pet owners simply take photos or video of their pet’s nose and upload to a database. The AI software then creates a unique ID for that animal.

All that is required is a smartphone camera to take images of the nose from different angles. Those images are then analyzed by the AI to determine critical identification markers. The pet’s profile also includes basic information such as breed, medical history, and any other records tied to the dog. According to Megvii, the software achieved a 95% accuracy rate during testing.

Dog Facial Recognition Megvii AI - YellRobot

Dog Facial Recognition More Accurate Than Traditional Methods

For example, if a dog has been reported missing it may turn up at a shelter. Employees can take a picture of the dog’s nose and upload it to the database. The algorithm will then automatically compare it to other images. If a match is found, the dog’s information and owner’s contact information will be displayed. If not the animal will be added to the database for future reference.

Identifying dogs by nose prints has been used for years. Many Kennel clubs and shelters use them to help locate stolen or missing pets. Normally they dip the animal’s snout in ink or food coloring to create the image. Megvii says digital nose printing is cheaper, more accurate, and less invasive than other methods.

Dog Facial Recognition Megvii AI - YellRobot
Finding Rover App

Finding Rover

Using artificial intelligence to identify animals isn’t new.  Finding Rover is a smartphone app that uses facial recognition to help locate lost dogs. The app uses images provided by the owner of a missing pet and matches them against a database of photos taken from shelters and other users. According to the app’s creator, Finding Rover has reunited over 15,000 pets with their owners.

Along with helping to reunite dogs and their owners, facial recognition software could have other benefits. It can be used by pet insurance services to help to settle disputes and simplify claims. It may also identify irresponsible dog owners such as those who walk a dog without a leash or fail to properly clean up after it.

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