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.

  • Ah extreme vetting for who to let in, got it!
  • This is awesome. "Paw-some," even. (Zing.)
  • It needs an extra feature. If it sees that the cat is carrying a dead mouse/rat/bird it should not allow entry until it is dropped. There is still a problem though, on the occasion that the camera doesn't get a good scan of the cat, how will the cat enter the Hello pin number when requested? That'll take some training...
  • 🤣 true...
  • Needs the integration of a paw-scanner
  • "Meow Corrrtana..."
  • Train you cat to meow in specific rhythm to trigger the backdoor.
  • PIN = Paw Identification Number??
  • To AndyCalling: Great post ... really sorry about the "REPORTED," that was a mistake and I couldn't figure out how to edit it away.  =8^(
  • Your pun wasn't purrfect, but I'm not going to claw myself to death over it. 
  • They all look the same to me, except their coats. Dogs must be harder since they are more specifically bred to look alike. Cats are more of a free for all those huahs.
  • Everything is good until that time there is a power outage and kitty smashes head into door.
  • Soooo... We're starting to train AI to recognize cats. Either our future is safe as our AI overlords will become obsessed watching cat videos, or, everything crashes and burns as our AI overlords obsessively watch cat videos....
  • Either way, it's a cat-tastrophy.
  • What is with the world's and its obsession with cats.😂
  • I have it on good authority (my cat) that 67% of the web is now devoted solely to cats. The remaining percentage will be devoted to cats as well. VERY SOON.
  • IoT = Internet of Tabby Cats     
  • Finally!
  • Cat privacy is being deteriorated!  Unacceptable! Protest at the litter box - 3am. Bring your Anonymouse Mask!