Innovation That Matters

Adoption app matches images of cute animals to lookalike pets in shelters

Work & Lifestyle

PetMatch uses image analysis technology to track down cats and dogs up for adoption that look similar to those featured in images uploaded by the user

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The internet is awash with images of cute cats and dogs, and unfortunately, shelters are equally awash with the real animals. In an effort to marry these facts together and increase adoption rates, California-based Superfish have created PetMatch — an image analysis app designed to find real cats and dogs in shelters that look similar to those featured in images uploaded by the user.

PetMatch is a new app from Superfish — a USD 20 million-funded company specialising in an image analysis process they call “machine vision”. To use the app, potential adopters must first find an image of a cat or dog they like the look of — either from the internet, the app’s own library, or it could be a photo of a previous or current pet. The app will then use Superfish’s machine vision to analyze the distance between the animal’s eyes, the general shape of its face, and the angle of its mouth. The results are then cross referenced against image analysis already carried out on images from PetFinder, which has access to photos of adoptable pets from both shelters and rescue organizations. The free app, available for iOS, will then present the user with close matches nearby, along with the contact details for the shelter.

Superfish already owns a profitable ecommerce browser extension which makes use of its machine vision tehcnology, and plans are reportedly in place for jewellery and furniture apps. How else could image recognition technologies be put to use to create new opportunities for consumers?



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