Microsoft Garage is the company’s outlet for small experimental projects because, as they say, small-scale things can sometimes have a big impact.
One of their most recent products is an app, called Fetch, which identifies dog breeds when you feed it a picture. So, you take a photo of your dog, your friend’s dog, some other dog, and the app will answer. If it doesn’t find an exact match the app will offer a percentage of the closest match, which is all very interesting because, as the app description on itunes says, while it already has data of more than a hundred popular pure breeds, its knowledge of mixed breeds is deepening as users send feedback through the app itself.
Then comes what is probably the most fun part, what dog breed would you be and why? In words of Javier Alvarez-Valle, senior software development engineer on the team that came up with Fetch, “This is the kind of app you’re going to take out when you’re with your friends,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun to learn about what dog you look like, and it comes up with surprising comparisons. It will also make for good discussions when I post on Facebook. I think people will find many more uses than we can anticipate now.” If you feed the app different pictures of the same person it will offer different results and it is interesting because it explains what features drove it to each conclusion.