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Life & Arts

The Panopticon Shot Bar: SceneTap Uses Cameras to Survey Nightlife

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Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/mrjoro
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Smartphone app SceneTap uses cameras and facial recognition software to assess the male-to-female ratio in Austin nightclubs.

So this is the way we live now: a new mobile application is coming to Austin that rates bars. But instead of relying on user-submitted data like Yelp, it has a network of cameras in participating nightclubs feeding real time information on a club’s capacity and demographics.

That’s the idea behind SceneTap, launching across several Austin bars this Friday.Founders Cole Harper and Marc Doering have partnered with several watering holes – admittedly fratty establishments like Cain and Abel’s, The Chuggin’ Monkey, The Dizzy Rooster and others – who have agreed to host the SceneTap cameras. Via “anonymous facial recognition software,” it feeds data to the app in real time: crowd size, average ages, a male-to-female ratio, and drink specials. SceneTap recently relocated to Austin from Chicago, where they have a presence in over 50 bars.

Launch parties are being held at several participating establishments this Friday. Whether you want to show up in CV Dazzle makeup is up to you.