A facial recognition app for dogs has debuted in Florida, according to a Miami Herald article by Carli Teproff, and it’s not as frivolous as it sounds – the Finding Rover app is designed to ensure that dogs that go missing can be reunited with their families when found.
The app recently launched in Houston, Texas, where it was integrated into two animal shelters; now it has found its way into the Miam-Dade Animal Services shelter in Florida. A dog owner who downloads the app simply needs to take a photo of their dog’s face and upload it, and then, in the unfortunate event that their dog goes missing and winds up in a participating shelter, that shelter can use Finding Rover’s facial recognition technology to identify the dog and reunite it with its owner. The facial recognition system relies on 128 distinct feature points on a dog’s face, and the app even has a ‘barking button’ to get a dog’s attention when it’s time to have its picture taken.
Interviewed for Teproff’s story, the app’s founder, John Polimeno, says the idea for it struck him after he saw a poster for a missing dog. “I figured they used facial recognition on humans,” he said, “why can’t they use it on dogs?”