Photo: Finding Rover

The Jetsons started it. The culture of flying cars and facial recognition to open doors. Now we have facial recognition for dogs. Actually the process of facial recognition is to aid in finding lost dogs. Finding Roveris an app that will help expedite the process if you should lose track of your dog.

Here's how it works: With a smartphone, you take a front-facing image of your dog that has a clear shot of its eyes and nose -- the two most important features the facial recognition technology uses to identify the animal.

Once the photo is approved, Finding Rover keeps the pet's file in its system. When a lost dog is located, the person who found it can then use the app to snap a photo, and Finding Rover scans its database to see if a match is made.

So far San Diego is the first to use the technology in the shelter intake process. Every dog that comes in gets its picture taken and it's then matched up in the Finding Rover database.

Happy endings

Finding Rover founder John Polimeno wants to expand the photo database to improve the odds of more happy endings, More shelters across the country are soon signing on. He's also showing it to rescue groups, veterinarians and dog groups and is visiting other countries.

The technology powering Finding Rover was built by Steven Callahan and John Schreiner of the University of Utah's software development center. They found the eight markers on dogs are far fewer than the 128 points on the human facial recognition program.

According to Callahan, dogs' eyes and snouts are in different places. People though, he said are sort of uniform -- the shape of their faces, skin tones, all their eyes, noses and mouths are in the same general place.

This is one of many apps to help find a lost pet. There are also alarms, microchips, scanning on a collar and of course the old fashioned way of putting up signs in the neighborhood, but if it's one more way to bring back your 4 legged best friend its worth a try.

You can register on your iPhone or Android. 

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