SceneTap, a Scary Look Into the Night Life

  • May 18, 2012
  • Tech
  • Comments Off on SceneTap, a Scary Look Into the Night Life

SceneTap, a Scary Look Into the Night Life ๐Ÿ™

We all know the scene, people go out at night, ready to head into the bar or night club, and meet some new people, maybe hook up and go home together. It’s hardly a surprise, and something that happens every week in every major city. However, there are always some unknowns when you go out like that, things you can’t possibly know before you enter the club, but would be very useful for anyone looking at several potential locations they can go. Things like how many guys or girls there are, what the average age is, and what the gender proportion looks like. Now, a new startup called SceneTap is looking to solve this problem by using cameras, inventive technologies and cellphones.

SceneTap provides a unique service to bars and clubs in order to make them more attractive to potential customers. The way it works is simple. Basically, cameras are installed in establishment, and film everyone who comes in and out. Then, behind the scene they have cloud based servers who parse all that data and do facial recognition on every customer, to gather their gender and approximate age. With this information, SceneTap is able to build an average portrait of the bar or club, know what the gender percentage is, along with the age distribution. Then, anyone who downloads the smartphone app can access that information while still on the road. If they see that one club has more guys than girls, they may not be as inclined to go there, instead choosing a location with a more even distribution.

Of course, not everyone likes the concept. This whole deal does rely on cameras filming everybody that comes into these places. Not only that, but ages and genders are taken and stored on remote servers. The company does say that everything is anonymized, and the information is taken in aggregate. Still, the problem may be that customers aren’t aware that this is going on, at least they don’t until they download the mobile app and find out which locations do have these cameras. Some say it’s an invasion of privacy, although again it’s hard to see it as any different than the standard security cameras that pretty much every single club now sports to make sure troublemakers can’t get away with causing issues in the club.

SceneTap has been around for a few years now and is starting to become popular not only in bars and clubs, but the company says they are exploring other types of markets as well. If business owners believe that this type of system is useful to bring in a more diverse clientele, then we may see these cameras appear everywhere soon. SceneTap is seed funded and currently has 17 employees. The company said that itโ€™s in the process of raising a Series A round of financing. Anyone can try it out on both iPhone and Android devices, and the app is a free download from the various marketplaces.

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