Best Apps of 2011
A new facial recognition application is causing controversy in the United States by scanning the faces of bar-goers to determine the venue's current 'scene.'
The SceneTap application snaps your photo as you walk into the venue to let attendees know the sex and ages of the people in attendance. Users can then check an iPhone app to see whether the mix is to their liking.
The app doesn't identify people personally, but examines features like the distance between the eyes and nose and ears to judge your age and gender. However app users will not be able to look at the photos individually, or the measurements of those in the bar.
SceneTap CEO Cole Harper says: "Nothing that we do is collecting personal information. It's not recorded, it's not streamed, it's not individualized."
The app is currently being tested in six US cities, including Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, but partygoers are already boycotting venues using the app out of privacy fears.
SceneTap says it deletes the photos as soon as they're snapped and that the sensors are not sophisticated enough to identify individual faces in the way Facebook does and iPhoto attempts to.