Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.

New App Uses Cameras to Transmit Guy/Girl Ratio from Bars to Your Smartphone

Print comment Post Comments
Since we covered gender-ratio-divining pioneer last October, software for the detection of sausage-fests has made stunning advances in utility and profit-making potential. Welcome to the next generation of creeping on women: SceneTap.

The Web app started as a lark, crawling Foursquare check-ins to determine which San Francisco hangout spots were disproportionately laden with ladies and putting the most promising locations on a Google Map. It got plenty of laughs online, but it also inspired more advanced takes on the concept, like GenderZoo  and Assisted Serendipity.

SceneTap is the 200-foot trawler to those apps' fishing pole. Unlike the others, which only detect the rare bar-goers who actually use Foursquare, SceneTap's model is to install cameras in nightspots to capture the entire crowd and use “facial-detection” technology to determine its size, gender split and age range. So whether you're looking for a quiet night or a club crawling with cougars, you're getting a much more accurate breakdown.

While the app is limited to bars that actually set up its cameras, SceneTap CEO Cole Harper says proprietors will be eager to do so when they learn the types of data it can provide them. From Fast Company:

"It's a way of measuring the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising," he says. "If a bar owner says to a promoter, 'Your job is to get me 100 females in this bar by 9 p.m.' Well, now the owner has a way to measure that promotion."

SceneTap believes it has created a viable solution for venue owners. A doorman might be able to track all the patrons entering and leaving a bar, but not keep track of age and gender. A POS (point-of-sale) system might provide good data, but a lopsided picture. "If you own a nightclub, for example, and look at the POS system to backtrack over the night based on names on receipts," Harper says, "well, if you do that in environment like a nightclub, it's probably going to be 90% males, because they are the ones most likely buying the drinks."

Of course, people are bound to be skeeved out by the idea of their face being captured and analyzed while they carouse. But as this kind of technology advances, it's inevitable that companies will use cameras to gather data on customers and potential ones. There's big business in selling that kind of information; that's why banks are starting to give retailers data on your shopping habits. Don't be shocked if someday soon your local mall starts targeting ads at you based on your face and the logos on your clothes. (Face-reading billboard ads are already a reality in Japan.)

And as for the hookup hounds who these apps originally targeted, coming breakthroughs in facial detection should only make it easier for them to pick their targets remotely. Just imagine what'll happen when software that measures facial attractiveness develops the inevitable program to detect body shapes. If you're waiting for an app called ChubbyChaser, it might not be a long way off.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.