Microsoft Garage app identifies dog breed by photographs
Spot the Dog: Microsoft Garage’s new app is great for identifying dog breeds, apart from Jack Russell Terriers it seems. Image by Javier Brosch/Shutterstock.
Our friends at Microsoft have been working hard on improving the artificial intelligence of its Cortana app. As an aside from perfecting its voice-led commands, they have worked on another app. This time, one entitled Fetch! for dog lovers, which identifies dog breeds.
Designed by the Microsoft Garage team, it available for iOS devices. You can also upload photos of your dog onto www.what-dog.net which incorporates the artificial intelligence of the iPhone app. Launched last month, the timing of its release couldn’t have been better. Firstly, it was released in time for the American Kennel Club’s Meet and Compete and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Secondly, it was nicely timed for Crufts, which started at the Birmingham NEC yesterday [10 March 2016].
After downloading the app, all you need to do is search for a dog breed online (i.e. English Springer Spaniel) or take a picture of your pooch. Then, Fetch will try to identify the dog breed itself. The iPhone app enables you to have a scrapbook, for pictures of your adorable mutt. It can also log results of dog show results. Information on each dog breed’s temperament and characteristics come from external research via Kennel Clubs.
At present, we have yet to see versions for Android and Windows Phone devices (so it looks like What-Dog.net will suffice for now). We tested What-Dog.net to see how good it was, and its hit rate was pretty good with pure-bred dogs. Entering ‘Cockerpoo’ or ‘Labradoodle’ returned alternative breeds whereas it struggled with Jack Russell Terrier.
Entering either ‘Jack Russell’, ‘Russell Terrier’, ‘Jack Russell Terrier’ or ‘Parson Jack Russell’ offered similar results to cross-bred dog breeds. Given as Jack Russells can either be long or short legged (like the Kennel Club standard Parson Jack Russell), have a smooth or rough coat, or have differing markings, they are mistaken for other dog breeds. Beagle tends to be the most common one in their results.
Once Fetch! is extended to other devices (Windows Phone, please. Pretty please…), we think it’ll be a great success. Dogs on a mobile app? You cannot go wrong.