Another part of your pet-finding toolbox: Lost Pet Facial Recognition Tuesday 12 September 2017 @ 13:23

Dog RunningSo your pet has gone missing. You’ve posted about it on Facebook, handed out flyers and sent out a Pet Alert through Lost Pet Finders. What else can you do to get some peace of mind while your furry friend is out exploring?

Well, you can check out our Top Ten Pet-Finding Tips, but you could also consider looking into lost pet facial recognition apps like PiP or Finding Rover to speed up your pet’s return. These are apps, available to Android and iPhone users, which use facial recognition technology to reunite families with their missing pets.

Are apps like this reliable?

Cat PawBecause your pet is an individual, they won’t be as perfectly predictable or “reliable” as a number or a string of code. This basically means that no app (or other pet-finding service - not even ours!) can be 100% guaranteed to reunite you with Mr Fluffy. That said, the facial recognition technologies used by these apps are bringing us that step closer to revolutionising the pet-reuniting process.

The process is fairly simple, and works something like an automated version of our own system. When Mr Fluffy is found, her finder uploads a photo to an app like PiP, which is then analysed and compared with photos of pets who are registered on the app as missing. If her owner has also uploaded a photo and added her unique identifying features to the app’s database, the system will recognise that the two photos match and inform the people involved.

How does it work?

Uploading a photo for use on these apps is fairly simple, and this photo is then scanned and remembered in case they ever go
missing again. Taking a photo with Finding Rover, for example, is done in three easy steps:

Dog MirrorOne: Take a forward-facing photo of your pet, filling the frame with its whole head. The Finding Rover app has its own camera, while others will allow you to upload pre-existing photos of your pet.

Two: Aid facial recognition by marking your pet’s eyes and nose in the photo. This is generally done using different symbols for the different features.

Three: Wait for the facial recognition app to scan your pet’s unique features and add them to its system. Simple!

There are loads of great methods out there for finding lost pets, but sadly none of them are 100% reliable. Tags and collars can easily fall off, and even microchips malfunction sometimes. We’re excited to see new methods emerging, especially ones with a community focus like our own. Whether or not you decide to try out these apps along with your Pet Alert, you can rest assured that there is a strong network of people out there, all of whom are working to reunite you with your missing friend.