SceneTap, an app that uses the
foulest black magic facial recognition cameras to discern the gender and age makeup at bars, clubs and other venues, has come to Phoenix. The idea is that a person could pull up SceneTap and see which places are hopping, which ones are have a good gender mix and which ones are graveyards. Of course this system is not without controversy
SceneTap has been implemented in a number of cities but none received it quite so negatively as San Francisco earlier this year. SF Weekly's article on the matter received a mass of negative feedback which is reported to have caused nearly half the original venues involved in the San Franscico release to backout. Clearly, SceneTap makes people a little squeamish although they've worked hard to try to dispel any misgivings.
For instance, they claim that their cameras don't record and store any of the video they collect. Also the SceneTap's interface offer's no way for users to use the system to check to see who's actually at a given venue. Theoretically that means your creepy ex-girlfriend can't use the system to keep tabs on you. Although she won't need to given your terrible Yelp Check-In addiction.
Either way, we reached out to SceneTap via email to get some clarification on their services. Their PR person Katie Welge, sent us back these answers.
1. Which venues in the Valley are using SceneTap? Are there any other venues that haven't come online yet? At the moment, we have about 25 venues in the Valley signed on, though data goes live one by one. The list of live venues is available on our website.
2. How much does this service cost for the venue operator? The technology and service is issued on a trial basis. The specific cost to each venue varies based on factors such as length of contract, level of service and campaign features.
3. What do these facial detection cameras look like? SceneTap's facial detection technology looks like your average security camera, typically placed near the venue entrance. But unlike security cameras, SceneTap's technology does not record or store a video feed for later retrieval.
4. Is there any way for people know if a venue is using SceneTap? For instance, will there be signs indicating such? The full list of venues is available on our website and mobile app, and all venues on the SceneTap network have a visible notice posted at the entrance to the facility.
5. Can you give us some examples of those exclusive food and drink promotions? SceneTap has incorporated a feature within the app that allows establishments to freely advertise their existing food and drink specials and events. We also throw periodic events with local and national sponsorships that offer unique specials to consumers.
So there you have it, SceneTap promises it won't steal your soul through their proprietary facial recognition software and surveillance network. Only time will tell how Valley dwellers actually feel about that.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.