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Apple details how an iPhone can double up as a pet-tracking camera

Apple Animal Body Pose API

One of the things pet parents are tasked with is keeping an eye on their furry friend at home while they are away. At WWDC 2023, Apple talked about its new API and framework that can be used to track animal movements around the house with an iPhone mounted on a motorized stand.

This can be achieved using the DocKit framework that lets developers "create incredible photo and video experiences with motorized stands," Apple said. The framework allows developers to create apps that "automatically track subjects in live video across a 360-degree field of view, take direct control of the stand to customize framing, directly control the motors, and provide your own inference model for tracking other objects." When used in combination with what Apple calls the Animal Body Pose API, it can virtually turn an iPhone into an autonomous pet-tracking camera.

iPhone on motorised stand

Animal Body Pose API is designed to recognize animals and identify their poses. The API builds on top of Apple's previous efforts in detecting human body poses and currently works for dogs and cats only. In a session video, Apple engineer Nadia Zouba explains that the Animal Body Pose API can detect what animal is present in a given image or video and the pose it's making. It does so by picking up 25 landmark locations from the animal's body to draw a digital skeleton.

In other words, the API can be used to recognize various animal poses such as when they are stretching, standing up and begging for a treat, or running away from a threat. Its potential applications can also include things like a dog food dispenser which is activated "on animal recognition and animal pose detection."

Apple Animal Pose API

The API is supported on iOS 17, iPadOS 17, tvOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, and Apple will talk more about the DocKit framework in an upcoming session. But there is no word on whether an Apple-made pet-tracking app is making its way to iPhones. However, developers can use the tools available to create their own pet cam.

Nonetheless, this adds to the pet-related stuff Apple has announced this year. The People album in the iOS 17 Photos app is now called the People and Pets album because it recognizes your pets as well. Speaking more of WWDC, Apple has announced a new toolkit that makes it easier to port PC games to macOS.

Via The Verge

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