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Pet facial recognition

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Oliver Young


07 March 2019

The NZCAR can now use the power of facial recognition technology to re-unite lost pets with their families. It’s as simple as taking a picture and registering your pet before they go missing. Using the most advanced Pet Facial Recognition Technology ‘PiP’, NZCAR is revolutionising the process for finding lost pets. Photos of found pets uploaded to NZCAR’s ‘PiP’ facial recognition application are analysed and matched with photos of pets identified as lost. When a pet’s photo and unique identifying features are registered in their system, NZCAR can quickly determine a match between the lost pet and any found pet in the area.

The key services ‘PiP’ Facial Recognition offers are: Any member of the public can submit a photo of a found pet for free on their site. Any user can flag their pet as missing so that it is then highlighted on the NZCAR administration panel. Their staff check each day for new listings and the system is always looking for matches. The ‘PiP’ system sends a missing pet alert to any of the NZCAR agents within a 10km radius of where the pet goes missing. For rural users, if there is no agent within 10km it sends to the nearest three. The ‘PiP’ system allows the NZCAR staff to monitor lost and found facebook sites and import photos for facial comparison if the site owners have given permission.

Clients can auto-create a lost pet listing on their own facebook page using their stored pet data. Activation of a ‘PiP’ lost pet alert also updates the NZCAR and can autogenerate a LostPet.co.nz alert as well as Neighbourly notification. ‘PiP’ Facial Recognition offers a huge step forward in the identification of missing pets. While it does not replace the uniqueness of the microchip identification, facial can quickly narrow the possible options from thousands of animals to only a few possibilities. It also has the huge advantage that it is a mobile capable technology - without the need for a microchip reader to work. This puts the technology in the hands of many more people, who can all act as a “Good Samaritan” when they find a lost pet.

What does it cost?

Registrations for the NZCAR “PiP” Facial Recognition in New Zealand opened in December 2017. The NZCAR costs are broken down as follows:

$15.00 - standard NZCAR microchip only registration.
$30.00 - Upgrade existing NZCAR registration to “PiP”.
$45.00 - New NZCAR microchip registration combined with “PiP” facial recognition.

These costs are one-off fees for the life of the animal. There are no other hidden costs, no annual charges and more importantly, the cost does not suddenly increase to a much higher cost if you want to register after your pet has gone missing.

If you do not wish to microchip your pet, but do want to register for facial recognition the cost is a one-off fee of $45 for the life of the animal. Please note that by law all dogs (excluding stock working farm dogs which are exempt) need to be microchipped. If you would like to register your pet with the NZCAR Pip facial recognition service click on the below link.



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