With its reliance on facial detection software and discreet cameras keeping a watchful eye on the front door of various nightlife hotspots, SceneTap is sure to be an app that raises more than a few eyebrows when it launches in some 50 Chicago bars next weekend.
As Forbes reported, the app will provide its users with statistics on how many individuals are at nearby participating nightspots at any given time, in addition to some basic demographics on who is there, including age and gender, picking up where other popular apps like Foursquare left off. The software reportedly scans a person's face, eyes, nose and general facial structure in order to determine sex and age -- and has a success rate of 85 percent in determining gender and 80 percent in determining age (plus or minus three years), according to FastCompany.com.
While some might find the app kind of creepy, CEO of the Chicago-based venture, Cole Harper, told CNN it's no more invasive than "paying your bill with a credit card."
Thus far, Casey Moran's, Rockwood Place, Hub51 and Public House are among those who have signed on to participate in the app.
"The same questions pop up each time people go out: 'Where should we go tonight? What type of crowd will it be? Are there any deals or specials we can take advantage of?'" Harper said in a press release announcing the app. "With SceneTap, you can easily access that information and more in real-time. There's no more guessing on what the scene will be like. Whether you're a knowledgeable local or just touring the city, you can locate your ideal bar at the tap of a button."
The app, which will reportedly be free for users and supported by ad sales and offering Groupon-like deals, will rely on cameras posted in participating bars. Harper has emphasized that the footage they take will not be publicly shared or even recorded.
Beyond the Chicago introduction, SceneTap plans to later expand its network to New York, Boston, D.C., Miami and several other larger cities and "popular college towns" across the country.