Losing stuff sucks. It’s even more frustrating when something isn’t really lost, but rather left behind in a location, like an airport or sports stadium, which makes it hard to get back. My friend Caitlin knows this all too well; she’s yet to be reunited with the phone she lost at Oktoberfest on September 27, despite confirming in November that they have it.
While Oktoberfest is a more extreme example, people leave a lot of things behind in hotels, on transportation and at events. For example, the MTA transit system in New York collected more than 18,000 lost items from 2018 to 2023 — and that time includes when people were sheltering in place for the pandemic. Boomerang thinks AI can fix lost and found.
The Miami-based startup built software that uses machine learning to match pictures and descriptions of lost items. Customers, which can range from gyms to theme parks, upload pictures and descriptions of their lost and found while consumers do the same for the item they’ve lost. If there is a match, consumers can choose to pick up their items or have them shipped.
This model hopes to get consumers their items back faster while replacing the current system of people calling customer service desk phone lines repeatedly for updates on their items, according to Boomerang co-founder and CEO Skyler Logsdon.