App To Look For: Pip!
‘PiP’ is a facial recognition app from Vancouver-based entrepreneur Philip Rooyakkers that recognizes your pet’s facial features so you can locate them when they’re lost.
The app records, classifies, and categorizes every feature of a dog’s or cat’s appearance. To use it, simply download the app, take a picture of your pet and enter its basic details. If the animal goes missing, you can send an alert to vet clinics, animal shelters, and fellow PiP users within a 15-mile radius. If someone finds an animal, they can upload a picture to initiate a matching process.
It was developed from scratch by facial recognition technology expert Daesik Jang, who claims it is more sophisticated than systems for humans. “Humans have very standard faces. For the most part, we know where the eyes, nose, and mouth should be. With pets, you have a huge variation – anything from the shape of nose to the overall shape of the skull.”
‘PiP’ uses algorithms to classify characteristics and identify patterns, weighing each animal on a scale and learning as new pets are added. Rooyakkers claims its identification accuracy rate was 98% during trials.
According to the American Humane Society, four million animals are reported missing each year, and only a very small number make their way home again. This means most animals end up in rescue centers or pet shelters. With ‘PiP’, Rooyakkers aims to ease the stress of a missing pet and reduce the number of lost and euthanized animals.
While it is more expensive than pet tags or microchips, Rooyakkers claims that it is more universal due to its smartphone-based service, unlike chips which have different standards and lack a centralized database.
Find out more about the app here.