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PetMatch app could make finding new dog or cat a snap

Ever walk through the park and see an adorable dog that's just the type you always wanted? Or maybe you already have a beloved cat already and wish you could find another just like him?

Now, there's an app for that.

Superfish, a Palo Alto-based startup that specializes in image search, has created an app called PetMatch that helps find adoptable pets in your area based on photo technology.

To use the app, users can either take a picture, upload a picture from your collection, or choose a pet photo from the app's internal library. Superfish then does a image recognition search to find similar, adoptable pets available in the area and gives users the information to connect with them.

"Our vision is that visual search will allow people to use any picture as a starting point in their search to find exactly what they are looking for -- in real time," Adi Pinhas, CEO and founder of Superfish, said in a press release. "PetMatch is a great example of the power of visual search and an important step in that direction." He added that the app could help users speed up the pet adoption process and make the experience more efficient and fun.

The company, founded in 2006, says that its visual search engine can analyze an image algorithmically in real time -- making it possible to find images automatically without metadata or human intervention. This technology could make it perfect future for shopping apps. In fact, TechCrunch reports that in addition to PetMatch, Superfish soon hopes to create a visual search app for jewelry and furniture.

Another visual search engine that utilizes Superfish's technology is WindowShopper, an app and web extension that allows users to find similar products. According to its website, more than 200 million products are available from more than 50,000 online stores. When users click on a product image, it promises they'll "instantly see identical and similar product offers."

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