Ever notice how Tony Soprano wouldn’t use EZPass because he didn’t want to risk being tracked? This summer, he’ll have another worry: Whether he’s being tracked into the Bing or not.
A startup called SceneTap is installing technology that lets users see how crowded a bar is and what kind of crowd’s there — old or young, mostly male or female — all before they put on their coats and head out for their brew. It’s delivered via a free iPhone or Android app, which also lets them chat with the bar or other users, see the night’s specials and take advantage of special offers.
SceneTap works by putting cameras at the door and noting every customer’s gender and approximate age. Cameras? At the bar door? Not to worry, the company says. The system only notes your sex and age, doesn’t collect any personal data and doesn’t record any video. On the other hand, if YOU want people to know what you’re up to, you can post to Facebook, Twitter and other sites, right from the app.
So far, SceneTap has signed up around 50 bars in Chicago and is starting to work on deals in New York, Boston, D.C., Miami, Austin, Las Vegas, and college towns. It’s scheduled to launch in July.
It’ll be valuable on Saturday nights, I figure. Who wants to schlep to the new place across town just to find the crowd’s four deep and you’ll have to wait 20 minutes for a drink? And it certainly will be handy for guys on pick up night, when they want to find a bar with the right ratio of women to men.