Technology solution Kawayuii Holdings Ltd. has successfully developed the world’s first noseprint-based smartphone for cows using its AiBank.JP platform. At least the very first one driven by AI for specific optimization purposes.
What are you asking for? Of course, to identify all the livestock on a farm!
AiBank.JP Brief introduction World-class AI for Japan
According to the official AiBank presentation page, this is one of the four main services offered by Kawayuii Holdings. It is a collaborative technology solutions platform that makes various AI technologies from around the world accessible in Japan. Technically, these solutions can be divided into three main categories:
- Hardware – (intelligent) alarm systems, robotics, facility control, etc.
- Voice recognition – keyword search, voice authentication, voice categorization, etc.
- Image recognition – face recognition, intelligent filtering tools, clustering applications, etc.
As you can imagine, all of these categories lead to a wide variety of ideas and applications covering broader categories, such as business, education, finance, healthcare, etc. There are even advanced apps that are, of course, mostly featured on their news blog.
In the context of this article, this last category of solutions is the most interesting because of its last specific achievements.
Fingerprints for us, noseprints for the cows.
The plebs are certainly not unfamiliar with the unique properties of fingerprints, and a number of identification methods and technologies are constantly being developed. In fact, it is so widespread that gadgets and devices with fingerprint sensors have become almost standard in modern consumer technology.
So you can imagine the lights going on in the heads of the developers at Kawayuii Holdings when they design a technology where cow nose prints work in much the same way.
Noseprint identification technology, as it is called, uses the cameras in the current generation of smartphones to create an identified and catalogued high-resolution image of a specific cow’s nose.
The first time the nose is scanned, it is stored in an online database where the same noseprint data can be retrieved for re-identification if another authorized user of the application later attempts to scan the nose of the same cow again. As you may have guessed, the verification process is pretty quick, so you can easily get all the relevant details.
Not only can you enter statistics about a particular nose print (from a particular cow), but the database even automatically keeps track of the cow’s growth. This more or less allows extrapolation of changes in the shape of the nose print with the age of the cow (for future use).
Oh, and the photos are usually taken from a measurable distance, even if it’s a close-up. Usually the cows pose at a very short distance, an impromptu selfie. You won’t see slimy cow noses pressed firmly against a touch screen while a farmer tries to get data for that particular cow.
The (efficient, digital) cataloguing of information is obviously the main goal of noseprint identification technology. First, cow nose prints are captured in the same way as the old method of using and extracting human fingerprints: with conventional ink and a roller (yes, on the nose). The information is then manually entered on a form and presumably stored in folders, which are then kept in antique steel cases painted green.
You can imagine how tedious this process is when you start counting every cow on the farm or ranch. Not to mention that this method, when used regularly, also places a significant burden on the bulls and is also easier to handle, just like human ink prints.
With AI-based image recognition technology, all these limitations temporarily disappear. The risk of error is also much lower, and the convenience of purely digital information means that it can be transferred to any platform when used for other specific purposes.
That’s right, it’s not just for cows!
It is quite predictable that if noseprint identification is accurate in cows, it can also be accurate in the noses of other mammals with similar anatomical structure. Kawayuii Holdings itself has received official confirmation that the same technology will be refined for other animals such as cats and dogs once this project is completed.
The purpose of the database will be the same: to catalogue the different noses of cats and dogs for technical identification. However, the final applications obviously differ depending on where the database is collected and queried. For example, a full noseprint profile (with all statistical information) can be used as an additional tool in locating a missing pet. This system can also be applied to stray animals, as shelters and rehabilitation centers can store the nose print data for later comparison.
As for the impact of this project on Kawayuii Holdings’ AiBank.JP platform, it is likely that the company will be able to expand its services to take into account the new things that are possible with this technology. For example, we could envisage adding such services to one of our current product lines for agro-technical solutions. There may even be a whole new category within the same composition (hint: definitely nothing to do with pets).
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