The hot dog-identifying app from HBO’s Silicon Valley is real, and you can download it now

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Tonight’s episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley saw a new twist in the drama from last week over a “Shazam for food” app. Spoilers ahead if you have not seen episodes 3 and 4 of season 4. After securing hundreds of thousands of dollars in venture capital funding for their SeeFood startup, Erlich and Jian-Yang find that their app works just great for identifying food — as long as that food is a hot dog.

As such, the app pivots to “Not Hotdog.” And, in an amusing instance of life imitating art, the app is available to download now on the iOS App Store. In our brief testing, it managed to correctly identify a bowl of pistachios as not being a hot dog, while it decided that an image of a hot dog on a computer monitor was, in fact, a hot dog. Which is a good or bad result, depending on your views on security.


Why would you want an app that can only tell you whether something is a hot dog or not? Well, if nothing else it might be marginally more useful than Samsung’s Bixby.

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