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Startups sniff out missing dogs using AI, 'nose prints'

Japanese and South Korean companies use similar tech to monitor health

Much like human fingerprints, a dog's so-called nose print is unique and stays the same even as the animal ages. Startups have been tapping that quality in apps to help pet owners. (Photo by Shinichi Hashimoto)

TOKYO -- Tech companies in Japan and other countries have been sniffing out ways to reunite lost dogs with their owners, developing AI that can identify these precious pooches based on no more than images of their noses.

Much like a human fingerprint, a dog's so-called nose print is unique and stays the same even as the animal ages. Tokyo-based startup S'more and others have been tapping that quality in apps they say make it easier to recover dogs should they go missing, giving owners some welcome peace of mind.

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