Finding Rover: bringing your furry friends home
October 29, 2015
It can be devastating when your pet wanders off. The hours of searching and dozens of “lost” posters add to the perpetual worry.
As John Polimeno, former construction business owner, remembered his experience after losing a pet, he thought there must be a better way. So, he came up with Finding Rover.
Finding Rover is an app that uses facial recognition software to help bring your missing dog home. Polimeno launched the app with the help of the University of Utah in late 2013. In order to help unite more lost dogs with their owners, the app is free and available on web and mobile platforms.
As Finding Rover boasts, “Signing up takes less than 30 seconds.”
- Make a profile for your dog, including name, breed, gender, and age.
- Snap a photo! The ‘bark button’ plays a whining sound that will get your dog’s attention long enough to take the picture.
- When someone finds your missing pup, they can upload an image to the app.
- Facial recognition software searches the database for your pup’s profile.
- You’re notified of possible matches so you can bring your dog home.
According to NPR, Polimeno and his team of engineers from the University of Utah “studied facial recognition technologies used in prisons and casinos to develop algorithms for pets, locating all of their unique facial features.”
This algorithm has a 98% accuracy rate. However, CNET points out that dogs’ fur can make facial recognition a bit more difficult.
Growing Finding Rover
Finding Rover has over 100,000 users, including about 100 shelters worldwide and several thousand veterinarians. But, this is a small fraction compared to the 3.9 million dogs that enter animal shelters each year.
The hope is that Finding Rover will grow so it can bring more dogs home to their families. Owners will continue to microchip their pets. But, because Finding Rover is free, it offers an additional way to help locate your missing pet, especially since some shelters have made plans to register every dog they take in.
Finding Rover is available in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia with plans to expand. So far, there have been over 600 happy reunions. Polimeno also hopes to launch Finding Kitty in the next two months.
Whether you lose a pet or come across a missing one, Finding Rover can make it easier to get him or her home safe and sound.