Lost dogs have a better chance of being found quickly, thanks to a new app.
That’s what spurred John Polimeno to create Finding Rover, a new, free iOs app.
The app uses facial recognition designed just for dogs. “I thought, well if we could do it for peoplem why can’t we do it for dogs” says John.
Whether you’ve lost a dog or found one, Finding Rover can help reunite dogs with their families. “You could put one hundred dogs of the same breed and your dog will come up 95% of the time on the top 5.”
The core technology developed by software engineers at the University of Utah, uses an algorithm to detect the dog’s unique, differentiating features such as eye shape and fur color. To use the app, you first need a good, well lit picture of the dog.
“We have a cool little feature called the Bark Button, because one of the most difficult things to do is to get a dog look at the camera” says John.
“You move the circles up to the eyes and the triangle to the nose and then you hit enter and it basically registers your dog.”
A close-up is best, but if the dog isn’t friendly, a picture from a distance can be used too. The app searches through puppy profiles for a match using the picture and other information, such as breed and size. And if you search by location, you can narrow down results to the dog, sighted or lost, near you.
In just a few weeks, Finding Rover has helped several pooches find their way home. To be truly effective though, the app needs more people using it, so Polimeno is working with shelters and animal control centers.
“People often don’t even know where to look for an animal.”
High-tech for your pet, now that’s something to bark about!