Technology Solutions company Kawayuii Holdings Ltd., has successfully used its AiBank.JP platform to develop possibly the world’s very first noseprint smartphone-based for cows. At least the very first one that is AI-powered for specific optimization uses.
What for you ask? To identify each bovine citizen of someone’s farm, of course!
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AiBank.JP Short Introduction: World-Class AI Solutions for Japan
According to AiBank’s official intro page, it is one of the four main services offered by Kawayuii Holdings. It is a general technology solutions platform that “opens various AI technologies from all around towards Japan.” Technically it these solutions are divided into three major categories:
- Hardware-Related – (smart) alarm systems, robotics, systems management, etc.
- Voice Recognition – keyword search, voice authentication, voice categorization, etc.
- Image Recognition –facial recognition, smart filtering tools, clustering applications, etc.
As you may have imagined, all of these categories integrate into a myriad of different ideas and applications that pour over more general categories such as business, education, finance, healthcare, and others. There are even carefully specified applications, which are, of course, presented mostly on their news blog.
And, for the purpose of this article, the last solution category provides the highest level of interest for the latest particular achievement that it has showcased.
What are Fingerprints to us, Noseprints are for Cows
We plebeians are definitely no strangers to the unique qualities of fingerprints, to which a whole plethora of identification methodologies and technologies continue to be developed. In fact, it has gained such wide prevalence, that gadgets and devices with fingerprint sensors have pretty much been the norm for current consumer tech.
That is why we can just imagine the light bulbs popping into the heads of developers at Kawayuii Holdings when conceptualizing technologies for the fact that cow noseprints function very similarly.
When first scanned, it is saved onto an online database, to which the same noseprint data can be retrieved for re-identification if another authorized app user attempts to scan the same cow’s nose again later. As you have guessed, the authentication process finishes quite quickly, allowing all relevant data to be retrieved conveniently.
In fact, not only can you input statistical data on a particular noseprint entry (on a specific cow), but the database even automatically tracks progress of the cow’s growth. This is so that it can more or less extrapolate the changes in the form and shape of a noseprint as the cow gets older (for future use).
Oh, and the photos are typically taken at a measurable distance, even if close-up. Basically, the cows simply pose for an extremely close distance, impromptu selfie. You won’t exactly see slimy cow noses being pressed firmly onto some touchscreen, when some farmer is attempting to retrieve data for that particular cow.
Hot, Beefy Profiles at Your Fingertips, Anytime, Anywhere
Cataloging information (efficiently, via digital means) is, of course, the primary objective of the noseprint identification technology. Originally, cow noseprints are recorded in the same way as the old way human fingerprints are used and retrieved: via classic ink and roller (yes, on the nose). Information is then manually filled up on a form, presumably stored on folders, which are then stored on those old-timey green-tinted steel drawers.
You can quite imagine how tedious this process is when you start counting every individual cow on a farm or ranch. Not to mention, this method also causes considerable stress to the bovines when done on a regular basis, as well as being easier to forge and fake, much like human inked fingerprints.
With an AI-supported image recognition-based technology, all these limitations become temporarily non-existent. Chances for errors are also significantly reduced, and the convenience of being purely digital information means that it can very well be transferred on any platform, if to be used for other specific purposes.
That’s Right, It’s Not Just for Cows!
Quite predictably, if noseprint identification is accurate for cows, then it essentially becomes viable on other mammalian noses with similar anatomical design. There has been official confirmation from Kawayuii Holdings itself that, after completing this particular project, the same technology will be developed further for other animals such as cats and dogs.
The base purpose would be the same, to catalog different cat and dog noses for technical identification. However, the end-point applications would naturally vary depending on where the database is collected and accessed. For example, a complete noseprint profile (including all statistical information) may be used as an additional aid when searching for a missing pet. This can also be applied to stray animals, where animal shelters and rehab centers can store noseprint information for cross-matching later on.
As to how this specific endeavor would affect Kawayuii Holdings’ AiBank.JP platform moving forward, it could most likely expand its services to reflect the new things that you can do with such technology. We could, for instance, imagine such services being added to any of its current agricultural tech solutions lineup. It could even spawn an entirely new category within the same lineup altogether (hint: definitely has nothing to do with “pets”).