Let’s face it, in the stare-off between humans and technology, we blinked again. Many countries are using facial recognition—in some parts of China, the technology is used to enter university dormitories, withdraw cash from ATM machines, and even buy a KFC meal.
And now cameras are looking into bovine eyes. New software provides analyses of both dairy and beef cows in facial/body identification, lameness detection, livestock activity, and feed intake. The video images are used to identify individual animals based on hide patterns and facial characteristics. Farmers can track key data such as food and water intake, heat detection, and behavior patterns.
Actually, cattle joined the "fitbit craze" a few years ago, and as this blog points out, fitness monitors have been tracking the health, movements, and even the "sex life" of cows for some time now.
No Tech Needed to See That Look in Their Eyes
I like cows, but my images of them include more than tail flickin' and cud chewin'. As a boy on a Midwest farm, I matched wits with a cantankerous milk cow, and on several occasions, my siblings and I had to round up escapee steers. But my most haunting memory comes from when a herd "attacked" me. A hot summer day, steers milling about in the pasture, and a ten-year-old boy invades their space--click here to see what happened when the gleam in those bovine eyes didn't need any software to convey their intentions.
by dan gogerty (top pic from dairyherd.com and bottom from premiumtimesnq.jpg)