Now your dog doesn’t have to be Insta famous for people to recognize him… as long as you’ve uploaded his photo to Finding Rover. The app uses facial recognition software and the power of crowdsourcing to identify your (hopefully never) lost pooch and speedily return him to your loving arms.
Here’s the nightmare scenario: Fido runs off of his leash and into the big bad world. Don’t panic. Instead, post an alert with his best phone-snapped portrait to Finding Rover, along with vitals like breed, age, friendliness, and your contact info. With that, lost puppy patrol just jumped from an army of one to all of Finding Rover’s nearby users. And that’s a pretty comforting thought.
If a user spots your pooch — or any lost, wandering, or untagged dog for that matter — all they have to do is snap a photo of Fido (which is easier to do than it sounds… we’ll get to that shortly), and the mutt’s mug is compared with the app’s database of dog selfies to find a possible match. But hold on prepping the Welcome Home doggie treats just yet, ‘cause how in the world are you supposed to get a strange dog to pose for an in-focus, on-the-fly close up? The answer: with a bark button.
The red square button is key to making this photo process both comfortable (there’s no contact required) and effective. Press it to release a succession of recorded barks, whines, and whimpers to grab your freshly found friend’s attention (it worked on our office mongrels), and once its eyes are locked, snap away at your John Do(g)e.
If you ace the photo, but a joyous reunion does not directly ensue — meaning, the four-legged vagabond was not pre-registered with Finding Rover — you still can post a Sighted status and hope that someone who knows someone might know that lost little guy.
That last scenario brings up a major bummer about Finding Rover, which is that the technology is there, but it can’t actually “rescue every lost dog” unless every last dog owner registered their pooch on the app. Finding Rover tries to make that easy: It is free (Android users, there’s an app for you too by mid-April!). If that’s not enough to entice puppy parents, then the Cute Pics thread and other social aspects of the app should be. Plus, you don’t even have to own a dog to sign up! Dog lovers are totally welcome to join and use Finding Rover.
As a last ditch effort for a communal download, we’ll leave you looking into the sleepy eyes of this fluff ball, and in the meantime, direct you to other tech savvy ways to practice puppy loss prevention, like Tagg a GPS-enabled collar that lets you monitor your pets’ whereabouts.
Would you download Finding Rover? Have you used the app before? How has the bark button worked for you? Tell us in the comments below.