Thinking about heading out for a night on the town in San Francisco this weekend? Not sure where to go? Starting today, several bars in the city will implement SceneTap, a service which uses facial recognition technology to determine how many people are at the bar, the female to male ratio, and the average age of people at the venue -- all to give you a better feel for where you want to spend your night. The way you access all this information is through the company’s iPhone or Android App, which updates the stats in real time.

Wondering how the service works? Below is a breakdown of  how the program collects data, as well as the company’s privacy policy according to their site:

When a customer enters a venue, we anonymously track their movement through the use of two cameras. One device counts humans as they move back and forth across a trip line (visible only to a software program). The other device sends an image to a software program which detects faces through facial features such as the nose, eyes, mouth, chin, and jaw line. The software then analyzes the facial detection image to attempt to determine the person’s gender and approximate age.

  • No facial photos or video are recorded or stored.
  • No streaming video may be viewed by venue operators or patrons.
  • No personal information is collected or even attempted to be collected.

Some of us here at Cutline are a little weary about being tracked by facial recognition technology while out with friends, and it looks like other San Franciscans share our uneasiness with the service. You can check out SFWeekly’s interview with the CEO of SceneTap on “Why Facial Detection Technology in S.F. Bars Isn't That Creepy.” What do you think? Will you be steering clear of the following participating bars this weekend?:

  • Bamboo Hut
  • Bar None
  • Comet Club
  • Eastside West
  • Eve Lounge
  • Fluid Ultra Lounge
  • HiFi
  • John Colins
  • Kozy Kar Bar
  • Manor West
  • Mayes Oyster House
  • McTeague's Saloon
  • Milk Bar
  • Monaghan's
  • Mr. Smith's
  • Noble
  • Pedro's Cantina
  • Pete's Tavern
  • Polo Grounds
  • R Bar
  • Southpaw
  • Taverna Aventine
  • The Ambassador
  • The Wreck Room
  • Tope

If you end up using this app let us know what you think!

Cutline Crew
Published: May 18, 2012

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