Did I mention that SF Weekly had decided to eliminate the category of "Best Dance Club" this year? Yeah, I think I did.
Oh, hey, have you heard of this "hot new startup venture" SceneTap? They've signed up twenty SF bars to allow them to install facial-recognition cameras to mine demographic data. Read the comments on this SF Weekly blog post about it to see the warm welcome they're getting -- e.g., "Thanks for the list of bars I won't be going to".
I'm sure this will never, ever be abused. It's not like SFPD isn't perpetually lobbying for clubs to be forced to install exactly these sorts of cameras and ID scanners. Oh wait, yes they are. In fact, one of the "standard conditions" that ABC is putting on all new liquor licenses now is a requirement to save video of every patron, and turn over the recordings whenever they ask. Since most people applying for liquor licenses don't have the luxury of fighting the default conditions -- which usually means paying rent on an empty building for six months during the appeal process -- you can expect to be seeing a lot more of that around town.
Anyway, back to SceneTap, I posted about this company on my other blog last year, but it probably actually belonged here instead, so I'll just cut-and-paste...
This douchebag's startup is actually getting bars to pay them for this:
Facial detection cameras that will keep track of the number of people in a bar, including a running tally of ladies.
Cameras are set up at the bar's exits and entrances, says SceneTap CEO Cole Harper. The software is not savvy enough to, say, be linked up with Facebook and detect identity; it's just able to detect a face and its gender.
"This is going to change the way the bar industry runs," says Harper.
While the software can tell you the gender ratio, it unfortunately doesn't rate attractiveness.
This post is part of an ongoing effort to identify the people, places, ideas, products and companies that are poised to become central to the global conversation over the next six to nine months.
Cole Harper, may you never have sex again.
And you stay klassy, Forbes.
This idiotic idea is not even an original idiotic idea: there's a Twitter feed called "yo bro, where the wimmins at" (it's not actually called that but I'm not telling you its real name because I don't want them getting the hits) who have been doing this by mining the gender field on Foursquare checkins for years. Every time they at-spam us on the Twits I mark them as spam, but the account is still there, despite being a pretty clear violation of Twitter's ToS.