A new app called PiP promises to locate missing pets using facial recognition technology. PiP, which stands for Positive Identification of Pet, uses the same technology for identifying human faces. Pet owners can upload a picture and register their pet with the app. If the pet goes missing, an alert is sent out to other PiP users in the area, as well as shelters and veterinary clinics. If another user finds the pet, he or she can upload their own image to indicate a match.
The app’s creator, Philip Rooyakkers, says he created the app after losing his own pet in 2011. “It really bugged me that technology hadn’t kept up to this problem,” he said. “You’re at home trying to get the information out, but at the same time, you need to be out looking.” The app launched in January, and Rooyakkers says it has already helped reunite pets with their owners. “The more we can reunite families with their pets,” he said, “the better it is all around.”