Finding Fido 2.0

A new app uses facial recognition to locate your lost dog

By Brian Reynolds

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No one wants to go through the horror of losing their dog, but by combining both facial recognition and social networking, Finding Rover — a fantastic, new app — makes reuniting with Fido a whole lot easier.

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Dog owner’s can register on the app’s website, or use the app with an iPhone or Android device to upload a picture of their dog. Once uploaded the facial recognition system identifies each dog’s unique facial features and stores a record of the dog in the Finding Rover database. While facial recognition is difficult for humans, by focusing on eight distinctive facial markers near the eyes and snout, Finding Rover is remarkably precise at identifying dogs correctly. Dr Callahan, one of the creators of the software from the University of Utah, notes in the Daily Mail, “If there are 100 dogs in a database, a top-three match would be hit 98% of the time.”

Finder Rover is building a network that helps people reunite with their lost dogs. The network is comprised of shelters, rescues, veterinarians, Finding Rover members and other dog organizations. If you lose your dog, you can alert the network and the facial recognition record will be matched against found dogs. Similarly, when dog is found they are put into the system, if a facial recognition match is made, the contact information provided by the owner will be displayed and they can be contacted so the dog can be retrieved.

The app is an incredible mix of digital networking and technology that can help many of the dogs lost each year find their way back home.