Facial Recognition Technology for COWS!

You've seen it in television dramas, and scifi movies - a computer scans the face of a person, provides information about his or her identity, and from there it's just a hop, skip and a jump to an address, employment information and criminal record. Facial recognition has also been used to confirm student identity during online exams, to hold a place in line for a theme park ride, and now, to unlock your phone. And sometime in the near future, dairy farmers may be using it to monitor the health and well-being of their cows. At least that's what Cargill and Dublin-based Cainthus are working on. The software they're developing will catalog animal faces, hides to monitor an individual animal's food and water intake, body temperature, resting and sitting time, and the environment around it to better track its health and welfare. According to Tim Loesch, Cargill animal nutrition communications director, "This technology will dramatically change how farmers take care of their animals. [It] will allow farmers to treat animals and take care of those with the greatest need, rather than always focusing on an entire herd. This allows farmers to have a more surgical and specific approach to make sure animals are cared for.” In a matter of seconds, the technology will identify individual cows, and store information about their color patterns and movements. The alerts sent to farmers will ideally help them meet health challenges early, and adjust feed and water quickly. Carg

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