PetMatch Searches For Adoptable Pets That Look Just Like Your Old Ones

PetMatch Searches For Adoptable Pets That Look Just Like Your Old Ones

A new service uses visual-recognition technology to pair potential owners with their ideal four-legged friends.

Rachel Pincus
  • 23 may 2014

Looking to adopt a cat or dog that resembles your deceased companion – or one who resembles an internet meme? Thanks to the wonders of ‘machine vision’ – the automatic collection and analysis of visual data – there’s now an app for that. PetMatch is the first app from Israel- and Palo Alto-based Superfish, a $20 million-funded startup devoted to extracting meaning from images, and promisingly, it’s for a good cause. The platform uses information and images from PetFinder to get pets adopted. “Many of the folks at Superfish are pet lovers,” said spokeswoman Liz Scanlon. “In fact there are several dogs in the office every day running around.”


You can use any image of an animal, even the outlandish likenesses of internet memes like Doge and Grumpy Cat. If you’re a new pet owner or fresh out of ideas, the app even has a set of stock images for you to choose from. Superfish then does a geometrical analysis of whatever image you choose, analyzing the distance between the animal’s facial features, as well as the shape of its eyes, mouth or face as a whole. Coat color is also a factor, with a search for ‘Doge’ turning up similarly orange animals. A weirdly angled photo can throw the app off, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a mutt with that certain je ne sais quoi. Pet results can be arranged by similarity or location – helpful if you’re looking to adopt a pet who doesn’t have to be driven across state lines.


So how does Superfish turn a profit? Not through apps like this, which sadly cannot solicit fees in the form of rubs around the legs and soft licks on the nose. Instead, Superfish, which has been around since 2006, has a browser extension and iOS app that allows its 100 million monthly users to find similar-looking inanimate products – and generates a healthy profit. Apps for a good cause like PetMatch will soon join more pedestrian ones that can find matched pictures of jewelry and furniture.


Visual search services are becoming a hot commodity in Silicon Valley, with Slyce, a comparison-shopping service that also offers visual recognition, raising $10.5 million this year, and Pinterest buying VisualGraph, another company that has invested resources in machine vision services. But what other company can say they’ll help hundreds if not thousands of puppies and kitties? Maybe Colenso BBDO’s project for the Pedigree Adoption Drive Doggelganger, which now appears to be offline.

However, there’s more to the relationship between humans and pets than appearance; maybe the next step is an app that intuitively pairs us based on personality and habits.

PetMatch // Superfish

[h/t] TechCrunch, author’s Flickr


Volvo's Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

Retail Today

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

Advertising Today

The Hottest Chip In The World Comes Packed In A Coffin-Shaped Box

The individually wrapped snack is made from the spiciest known chili


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Today

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Luxury Today

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

Work Today

Microsoft Wants To Help Workers Better Communicate With Their Coworkers

Project Sonoma is a new app designed to help employees chat and coordinate shifts with their associates

Advertising Today

Real-Time Data Used To Calculate The Brand Power Of Athletes

Brandtix has develope a digital platform with a complex algorithm that combines social media variables with player performance to predict the next A-list pros


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Digital Design Expert: Mobile First Is Dead, Think Mobile Native

Brian Cooper, chief creative officer of OLIVER Group UK, explains how some brands are still playing catch-up to new technology

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Automotive Yesterday

Toyota Is Using Sewage To Power Its New Electric Car

A new hydrogen-fueled vehicle is driven by what we flush away

Culture Yesterday

Catch A Concert On This Small Floating Island

A man-made archipelago in Italy is hosting music and art performances

Design & Architecture Yesterday

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Woodenwidget says its detailed guides are suitable for beginners and experienced woodworkers alike

Social Media Yesterday

The United Nations Has Launched Its Own Social Media Platform

A new app aims to get younger audiences more involved in sustainable development goals

Design Yesterday

Crash-Friendly Drone Made From LEGOs Is Completely Rebuildable

The clever device offers games, education and the uniquely rewarding experience of destroying your high-flying airship


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Free Sneakers Given Out To Motivated Marathon Runners

Strava will give the shoes to athletes who run the second half of their race faster than the first

Culture Yesterday

Someone Invented A Robot Just To Serve Trays Of Beef Jerky

Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, in partnership with Chef's Cut Real Jerky, creates an automated snack delivery system

Millennials Yesterday

Why A Social Networking Site Decided To Rebrand

Meetup, a platform that connects like-minded individuals, has taken steps to stay relevant amongst millennials

No search results found.