Where the Ladies At? There's an App for That

By Veronique Greenwood | June 30, 2011 2:12 pm

scenetap

Here’s a good use for augmented reality: directing clubgoers to the bars that have the best odds for meeting persons of their preferred gender. And how do you figure that out? Well, a start-up company called SceneTap is doing it with facial recognition.

Mounted at the doors of clubs, cameras will survey the crowd and, using facial recognition software, report the ratio of men to women to a free smartphone app. Forbes reports that 200 clubs, more than fifty of them in SceneTap’s home base of Chicago, have signed up to be included in the service, which will debut next month. The software is not sensitive enough to recognize individuals, stresses CEO Cole Harper—just sensitive enough to see whether that face coming in the door is male or female. The company plans to generate revenue from Groupon-like deals and advertising.

Now, when you get down to the privacy issues, it still seems a little problematic—a little Google Streetview Car—to us. Does the software store those images someplace? Could someone’s whereabouts be ascertained by a human looking at those files? But maybe we’re just paranoid. (If the kind of ladies you look for are on Foursquare, there’s another, non-camera-involving app that can help with that. Wheretheladies.at features a giant red compass needle that points you towards the bars with the largest number of checkins by females.)

It does seem like SceneTap, if widely adopted, would get rid of a lot of the frustration inherent in trying to find a place where you can meet potential partners, from wasted cab fare to long, fruitless waits on the sidewalk. If you can find the nearest pizza place with your phone, why not the nearest cluster of ladies?

(via PopSci)

Image credit: SceneTap

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Sex & Mating, Technology Attacks!
  • ARman

    uh. ok.

    what kind of oversight ensures you don’t store the video feed? also, the video has to be monitored in some fashion- otherwise, how could you extract data from it?

    even better question- if you’re not monitoring the video feed, how do you ensure the results are accurate?

    and why does it matter if the bar owners have access? they most likely have their own security camera system anyway- why do we care if the bar owners can see people in their own bar?

    last question- since when do we live in a generation so pathetically isolated from one another that we need a damn app to tell us there are people at a bar? those people that had relationships before foursquare, smartphones, facebook- what ever did they do?!

  • craig

    Does it notice when women leave?
    Does it balance where it sends men? Presumably it knows the gender and perferences of its phone users. So it should not send all men-seeking-women to the same bar lest the balance swing flash-mob like to the boys.
    Can women who use this app know that 200 men are on their way to a nice quiet bar that happens to have 70% women (but 22 in total) in it?
    Hopefully it does not send a pile of men to a women’s gay bar.
    It should alert bar owners that 200 men are on the way.
    Presumably the facial recognition can classify races, ages, heights etc. It should send me to the bar that has the most dwarf albino asian women.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/sciencepunk Frank

    Oh sure, it’ll get me to where da ladeez are at, but then what? Am I supposed to fend for myself after that? Unless this app guides me through the entire courtship it’s still in beta as far as I’m concerned.

  • Irritated

    I cant stand this little application at all. People are not going to be checking their phones for where women are at. If you are a regular where you go out…you will go to the place that you know and have a great time at. Its going to ruin most bars. It is going to bring out all the losers to great bars where people just like to chill out and have a good time. It is such a worthless app. You know the app that chicago needs if people want to go out, bartab.

    So is this stupid app going to know if someone walks out the door to go smoke and they come back in about 20 times a night. Hey look its the same guy but lets count him 20 times. Yeah this app blows. You want to know specials at the bar? Uh your server or bartender will tell you them.

    I hope these cameras leave. If you want to have this camera in your place of business id really like to know how they dont store the video feed. I am sure that they do. When I go into somewhere where they have this irritating thing I am going to ask where my waiver is about the video feed not being stored.

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