What if you could stare into the eyes of the organic chicken you’d be eating in a few months? Chinese company ZhongAn Technology plans to develop facial recognition so users can check in on chickens they’ve bought. Their GoGo Chicken program also outfits birds with GPS trackers so people can monitor their future supper’s movement in real time.
City dwellers could connect more to their sources of food with the GoGo Chicken program, according to ZhongAn Technology, a unit of ZhongAn Online. Instead of feeling disconnected from their food system, out of sight for many people, health conscious urban consumers can follow the life cycle of organic or free range chickens.
ZhongAn Tech CEO Chen Wei told the South China Morning Post, “Each of our chickens wears an anklet since birth, which is an IoT device that connects wirelessly to our blockchain-based network and sends real-time data about the bird’s whereabouts, and how much exercise it gets every day. When you shop and see raw chicken [from us], you can simply check on your smartphone app to know its birthplace, what food it ate and how many steps it walked during its life.”
The company launched the program this past summer in Cha’an Town in China’s Anhui province. Quartz reported they’ve fitted 100,000 chickens with GPS bracelets, but aim to include 23 million birds into GoGo Chicken in the upcoming three years.
The chickens are slow-grown, meaning they live for four to six months. That’s in contrast to the around 45 days factory farmed chicken live.
Facial recognition for animals isn’t new; Google has drawn on it for pets like dogs or cats in humans’ photos. In the GoGo Chicken project, the technology could help people actually see the chicken they could one day eat on a smartphone.