The Internet + dogs = viral success for Microsoft.
Once again, people are willingly using a Microsoft app and it can’t get enough of it. Fetch is a free Web and iOS app that identifies dog breeds from pictures of dogs and even humans.
There’s two ways to use it: Search a description of an ideal breed (i.e. “family friendly dog”) and it then pulls up the pooch using Bing images with a sentence of its attributes. Or take a photo of yourself and the app tells you what breed of dog you are most likely to be. On mobile, it solves the dilemma of seeing a cute pup on the street but being too scared to ask the owner what breed it is.
“This is the kind of app you’re going to take out when you’re with your friends,” Microsoft wrote on the app’s iTunes page. “You’ll make fun of each other, comparing which breeds you look like, and posting the tagged photos.”
It turns out this particular reporter is a Doberman Pinscher:
While not entirely correct in this instance, Fetch does have a surprisingly high accuracy rate, judging from the reaction on Twitter:
Fetch is pretty accurate! Thanks @MSFTGarage pic.twitter.com/J4mRLZhknV
— Den Delimarsky (@DennisCode) February 12, 2016
Fetch, released in time for the beginning of the Westminster Kennel Club show on Monday, was developed by its experimental project group called Microsoft Garage. The unit has previously found viral fame with its age-recognition website and a silly mustache app.
While the app is a fun end-of-week diversion, the intent of Fetch is to improve Microsoft’s image recognition technology and harness for it more important projects.
“A feedback feature is built into the app. So if you’re sure your dog is one thing when the app says it’s another, send us that info. Every image improves it.” said software engineer Chris O’Prey in a lengthy blog post about the project.
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