Pet food brand Iams has launched a mobile app that aims to reunite lost dogs with their families.
Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, “NoseID” uses nose-scanning smartphone technology to help identify lost dogs by their unique nose prints.
Pet owners are encouraged to make a profile for their dog – including scans of their dog’s nose and a physical description – which can then be used to identify the dog in the event that they become lost.
The app launched in its beta stage yesterday (19 April) in Nashville, Tennessee with ambitions to scale up into a US nationwide rollout within the year, and eventually, expand globally.
It was created by Zoe Nash and Sali Horsey, with help from app development company Psycle.
According to research from Petfindner, one in three pets will be lost at some point in their life, with 10 million pets reported lost or stolen in the US every year.
“This was something we toyed around with a long, long time ago,” Richard Brim, chief creative officer at Adam & Eve/DDB, told Campaign.
Brim said that the concept was based on toxicology research from 2016 which found that “a dog's nose is as unique as a human fingerprint”.
He continued: “The more we looked into it, it became very apparent that [the technology is] very legit and works brilliantly, so we decided to make it invaluable to dog owners."
Iams’ parent brand Mars Petcare is also working with animal shelter partners to showcase the benefits of the NoseID app, alongside other measures such as microchipping.
Sara Chapman, director of digital acceleration at Adam & Eve/DDB, told Campaign: “At the beginning we didn't know if it was possible.
“This has been this process of saying 'If Apple did Touch ID, how can we recreate that with dogs and train this machine learning algorithm to recognise stuff to the level of accuracy that we wanted to?'”
Adam & Eve/DDB worked alongside a basic community of 400 dog owners to iron out the kinks of creating the app, from how best to scan a dog’s nose to advice for those who have lost a pooch.
“Ultimately, we are putting it out there and trying to protect dogs, so it's got to be watertight.”
Dogs have been the inspiration behind several campaigns in recent months, including Samsung’s collaboration with R&B singer Samm Henshaw and Brewdog’s pooch-focused pint, which partnered adoption charities to showcase dogs that are seeking families.
Craig Neely, vice-president of marketing at Mars Petcare, said: “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.
“The app is designed to be a community resource, so whether someone has a dog or not, they’ll be able to join the NoseID community to help reunite lost dogs with their families in their own neighborhood.”