Technology that helps distinguish twin dogs and cats
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This exciting initiative comes from Megvii, a China-based startup focusing on artificial intelligence.
Identify pets from nose prints
Having provided facial recognition software to the Chinese government, Megvii is studying biometric verification technology for pets. Instead of scanning the entire face, this app focuses on the nose only.
Each dog’s nose print is unique like human fingerprint. Photo: Abacus.
According to Abacus, the app is based on the idea that every dog has his own unique nose print, which is similar to human fingerprint. Instead of using expensive chip implants, Megvii supposes that analyzing the nose print is a cheaper and less invasive solution to the pet's body.
In fact, dog owners around the world have used nose prints to detect their lost or stolen pets. The easiest way is to spread some ink and press the dog's nose onto a white cardboard.
Compared to that manual method, Megvii's technology is much more modern. Just point the phone camera at the pet's nose, the software will identify and record important information to save to the database.
According to Megvii, this method’s accuracy is up to 95%. If a higher rate is needed, the software will compare the result with a larger database.
The software requires owners to take several photos of their dogs’ noses to create a database. Photo: Megvii.
The idea of using AI to identify pets is not new. An app named Finding Rover has used face recognition to locate stray dogs. Based on the machine learning algorithm developed by the University of Utah, the app collects lost pets images from their owners, and then match them with the stray dogs’ images provided and saved in the database. Finding Rover developer said more than 15,000 pets had been found thanks to this app.
Megvii said that in addition to identifying stray dogs, the technology could also be used to track and capture them.
Pets are gradually becoming a luxury hobby
According to a last year's report, Chinese metropolitan areas are home to more than 91 million pet dogs and cats. As there are more people move to the cities, the number of complaints also increases. Many pet owners have been criticized for not cleaning up the waste or not watching their pets carefully.
Taking a selfie with a Maltese dog at World Dog Shows Shanghai 2019. Photo: AFP.
Pets has gradually been becoming an indispensable part of people’s life, so many owners are willing to spend a large amount of money on their 4-legged friends. Lufax, a dominant online marketplace has launched a pet insurance package.
Currently Megvii technology is for dogs and cats only.
By: Chris Stewart