So I heard last year that there were a series of San Francisco bars that were installing inside cameras and providing a live stream of the action so potential patrons could check out the scene before heading out. This service provided by an Austin based company called SceneTap.
Seems for the bar in the above video this application helped them gain business, but how long will people want to be watched when out for the night?
Customer reviews of this service are mixed. The only App store review of this app states, “Love knowing what the guy/girl ratio is like before I show up so I don’t walk into a sausage fest”, but it seems most I talk to feel it is a mad invasion of privacy. Now SceneTap has gone one step further. They are officially launching their facial detection software for the service.
According to SceneTap: Special facial detection cameras inside venues, pick up on facial characteristics to determine approximate age and gender of the crowd. All your personal information remains anonymous, and nothing about you or your face is stored long-term. Venue owners have access to this aggregated demographic information, and over time they can use it to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Here is the list of the SF bars that will be watching you:
Fluid Ultra Lounge
Kozy Kar Bar
Mayes Oyster House
The Wreck Room
Comments made to me and those I have seen on other blogs show that most people hate this idea and are not going to go to the bars listed above. I guess only time will tell if people like having their faces scanned and recorded when they are out drinking with their friends.