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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Boomerang's AI: Revolutionising the Lost and Found

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

Losing items can be a real headache, especially when they're not truly lost, but left behind in a place like an airport or sports stadium.

It's a common issue, with the MTA transit system in New York collecting over 18,000 lost items from 2018 to 2023. Enter Boomerang, a Miami-based startup aiming to revolutionise the lost and found system with the help of artificial intelligence.

Boomerang's software uses machine learning to match pictures and descriptions of lost items. Customers, ranging from gyms to theme parks, upload images and descriptions of their lost and found, while consumers do the same for their lost items. If there's a match, consumers can either pick up their items or have them shipped.

Boomerang's co-founder and CEO, Skyler Logsdon, believes this model will speed up the process of reuniting consumers with their lost items, replacing the current system of repeated calls to customer service desks.

The concept for Boomerang was born out of a trip to Cabo, where co-founder Philip Inghelbrecht, former founder of Shazam, highlighted the frustration of his two young daughters constantly losing things. The idea was further cemented when Inghelbrecht’s fiancée lost her ring in the Cabo airport.

Boomerang operates on the same matching concept as Shazam, with the algorithm needing to get each match exactly right. The company recently announced a $4.9 million seed round, with funding set to go towards onboarding new partnerships. They currently work with a number of organisations, including State Farm Arena and Universal Studios Hollywood.

While it's clear why consumers would be interested in a better system for lost and found, the benefits for organisations are also significant. Improving this system is a simple way to boost customer satisfaction, and with some venues collecting thousands of items per event, Boomerang can alleviate the logistical nightmare of dealing with a flood of calls and emails.

Boomerang is an intriguing example of using AI to modernise a legacy industry. While many AI innovations focus on speeding up digital processes, Boomerang is using AI to automate a phone and email process, significantly reducing workload.

With Boomerang, the days of calling up lost and found might soon be a thing of the past. As Logsdon puts it, "How does technology not solve this today? How is there not a better solution than calling?"

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