New app uses a photo of a dog's nose to reunite lost pooches with their owners

Iams NOSEiD app
(Image credit: Mars Petcare)

Forget face detection, or even animal Eye AF - Iams, a brand usually associated with pet food, has launched a new app called NOSEiD. It isn't used for capturing photos, but rather identifying dogs in existing images by the shape of their snouts. The idea is this unique nose data can then be used to identify lost dogs and reconnect them with their owners.

(Image credit: Mars Petcare)

The app is designed to work with images of any size or breed of dog. In order for the app to work at its best, Iams recommends taking a photo of your dog (or a lost dog that you've found) in good, bright lighting, with the dog facing the camera and sitting/standing still (although that last bit could be easier said than done!). The app then analyses the photos, paying particular attention to the unique wrinkles and texture on the end of a dog's nose which form a pattern with a distinctiveness similar to a human fingerprint. The depth, position and direction of these wrinkles are used to create a biometric record of a dog's identity on Iams' database. Owners should also add a physical description of their dog to further help possible rescuers correctly identify your lost dog. The app then gives you assistance on what to do in the event your prized pooch goes missing, or it can help people who may have located your lost dog to return it to you.

(Image credit: Mars Petcare)

With this kind of new tech available, it's hoped that the app can go some way to addressing America's lost pet problem. According to Iams, nearly 10 million pets in the U.S. are lost each year, and on average one in three pets get lost at some point during their lives. AS only 3-5% of pet dogs in the US have microchips, an alternative method of canine identification is needed if we're to reunite more lost dogs with their owners.

(Image credit: Mars Petcare)

"Pets are irreplaceable family members, and with the NOSEiD app, we’re hoping to help keep more pets in their loving homes and out of shelters — taking another step toward our goal of ending pet homelessness"

Craig Neely, vice president of marketing, Mars Petcare - parent company of Iams

(Image credit: Mars Petcare)

NOSEiD is currently only available in Nashville, Tennessee, but it's hoped that it will soon be available in many more locations. The NOISEiD app can be downloaded now for iOS and Android devices.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.