Microsoft brings feline facial recognition to pet doors with Windows 10 IoT Core

Windows 10 IoT Core is an offshoot of Microsoft's flagship operating system, built with smaller devices in mind. Designed to hook into the "Internet of Things," which comprises devices and appliances taking advantage of embedded network connectivity, IoT Core finds itself regularly supporting projects that automate our daily lives.

Microsoft recently debuted an interesting new implementation of Windows 10 IoT Core, releasing a pet recognition door project for the home. Using a Minnowboard Max, the project uses various sensors and motors to fully automate a pet door, using facial recognition to limit which animals can pass through.

As shared on the official Windows YouTube channel, when a pet walks up to the pet door, a motion sensor is triggered, activating the mounted webcam. Capturing a few frames of the animal, images are processed using an OpenCV classifier, either granting access or rejecting an animal from entering the home. Handling this recognition in only a few seconds, this promises a seamless approach which won't confuse your pets.

Microsoft has compiled a guide to creating your automated pet door with Windows 10 IoT Core, on With a full breakdown of the hardware and setup, the project is estimated to take 10 hours on average, which could make for a fun project over the holidays.

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.