Cameras For Cows (#GotBitcoin?)
Facial-recognition technology is helping farmers track cows on dairy farms—and give them insight into the animals’ behavior. Cameras For Cows
The same software used to catch jaywalkers in China and verify travelers boarding airplanes can identify cows using their faces and the patterns of their hides. From there, it can monitor how much an individual animal eats and drinks, and how it acts.
If a cow deviates from its normal food or water intake, for instance, farmers can have an alert sent to their phones, encouraging them to put out more food or assess the animal’s health.
“Every action gets reduced to ‘cow X did Y for Z amount of seconds,’ ” says David Hunt, co-founder and president of Cainthus, a Dublin-based company that brought facial recognition to the dairy barn.
Farmers have gleaned other insights into cows’ behavior. Dairy cows prefer drinking in groups, for instance, and they often run out of food at night. What’s more, the path a feed truck takes through a barn can determine how much the cows that are inside eat.
Cainthus’s software and analytics can help farmers adjust feeding regimens or tend to sick animals, potentially boosting production and profitability. The company says its cameras have been installed in barns housing 14,000 cows in North America and in others across Europe.
With a recent investment by agribusiness giant Cargill Inc., Mr. Hunt says, Cainthus eventually plans to take its facial-recognition technology beyond the farm gate, to track cows during transport and at slaughterhouses.
SriRaj Kantamneni, a managing director at Cargill, says the company also plans to use facial-recognition technology on species including hogs, poultry and in aquaculture.