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SceneTap Patents Using Cameras To Determine Bar Goers' Weight, Height, Gender 76

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the nothing-sinister-here dept.
nonprofiteer writes with news on what SceneTap has been up to for the last few months since. From the article: "SceneTap uses facial recognition technology to help bar-hoppers decide which night spot to go to based on how crowded a bar is and what the age and gender ratio is. ... Despite the fact that what the app does now is fairly innocuous. But what the app could do in the future, as described in a patent application filed in June, is pretty creepy. The patent application describes much more detailed data collection, including bar goers' race, height, weight, attractiveness, hair color, clothing type, and the presence of facial hair or glasses, and includes other possibilities usually left to the realm of dystopic fiction, including putting microphones in the cameras that could detect what customers are saying, and using facial recognition technology to identify customers and then get information about them from social networking websites and databases to determine 'relationship status, intelligence, education and income for the entire venue.'"
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SceneTap Patents Using Cameras To Determine Bar Goers' Weight, Height, Gender

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:31AM (#41464691) Journal
    Whelp, time to bust out my narwhal outfit, platform shoes and monocle every time I hit the bars.

    Great ice breakers at least.
  • And so it beings. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:35AM (#41464735) Journal

    Are they going to place the cameras and microphones behind their other patent, the "telescreen"? While we are at it, let's call this company the "Ministry of Love".

  • share all your tipping the strippers to your facebook account. or better yet the strippers will scan the patrons in a back room and then work the ones which the system predicts will tip the mos

  • Not patentable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:39AM (#41464783) Homepage

    I don't think this is patentable. The patent basically says where they would put cameras in the venue to record various things. That's what cameras do: they record stuff. Allowing a patent on that would be silly. To try and make it patentable, the patent states the specific camera positions such as "located about one foot (30.5 centimeters) away from the entranceway or (ii) located from about eight feet (2.4 meters) to about fifteen feet (4.6 meters) above the floor. "

    So if that patent is awarded, could someone patenting putting cameras in *insert place here* to record *recordable event here*? Could I patent putting putting a camera on my car to record accidents and license plates? Perhaps I just need to say "about one foot in front of the windshield" to make it patentable? Could I patent putting a recording device in my pocket to record conversations? Perhaps I will say "about 6 inches deep in my pocket" or "in either a shirt pocket or a pants pocket" to make it *seem* more patent-worthy without actually saying anything.

    Somehow, I don't even think the rubber-stamping patent office will let this one pass.

  • I'd pay for an app that tells me the average weight of the chicks at a bar before I go there. Even better, the simple quantity of non-fat girls.

    • Why? You'd rather strike out with a skinny chick than a chubby one? With a name like that, I'm thinking you're over-compensating. Dig your User Number, though...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You're misreading it. She's the Matron of Orgas [wikipedia.org].

      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        Why? You'd rather strike out with a skinny chick than a chubby one?

        Hmm..if you're going in with any idea of "striking out", then you are going in with one thing that WILL make you strike out.....lack of confidence.

        That one trait alone, if projected correctly, will get you VERY far with women.

        But I can see his point in the OP....you don't want to waste your time, effort or $$ trying to pick up women in a place with fat chicks, unless you are a chubby chaser. You might as well try to hit the most target

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      The thing is, they can use the same technology. So as soon as you show up, the "middle aged neckbeard" warning fires, and all the women start going somewhere else.

    • They have not patented the idea of weight sensors in all the chairs at the bar so you might yet get your wish.

    • by hazah (807503)
      Like to eliminate your options early, I see?
  • If they patent this, but never use it, could they use their patent to keep others from inventing and patenting the "microphone add-on?" Wouldn't a broad patent give them a legal way to keep others from making creative and invasive additions?
  • This kind of stuff is not so bad as long as it is just entertainment. The software mismatches a attribute and nothing is lost. There is no reason to think that there is any real accuracy in the software, the patent is simply there to make sure if someone else does this they can sue. I would not think that a piece of free software would even have the funding to accurately do what it does. Certainly it is easy enough to lie when entering data.

    The problem occurs when some ignorant people start believing

    • None of that stuff works for left handed people either People that say that left handed brains are just the reverse of right handed brains are wrong. That is only the case when the left handed person has their entire body reversed (internal organs and all). Most left handed people dont store things in as compartmentalized manner as right handed people.
  • TapMeNot uses database technology to tell you where SceneTap has placed its cameras to help bar-hoppers decide which night spot not to go to.
    • I'm sure SceneTap will start selling a similar service to "mask", a user, and tell them where the best bar to go is to *not* get hit on. Just like the telephone company publishes a directory, and charges people to *not* be listed.
  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:48AM (#41464889)
    Make an app that can tell me what pheromones are floating around. Using predictive technology that knows how hot the user is how hot the appropriate sex at the bar is, and how hot the competition is, the app could determine, to great precision, how likely you are to get laid.

    B.t.w. There really was a 50's science fiction short story about an inventor that made just such a device, although you had to carry it into the bar, it wasn't remote. (Don't remember the name or the collection)
  • by dtmos (447842) * on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:48AM (#41464893)

    The application was not "filed in June." The application was published in June. From TFPA (after all, the link is to a patent application, not an article):

    PRIORITY CLAIM

    [0001] This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/422,895, filed Dec. 14, 2010, entitled "Method of Monitoring or Tracking Customer Demographics and Volume in a Venue or Similar Facility", the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference and relied upon.

    The provisional patent application was made on 14 December 2010. The full utility patent application was made on 13 December 2011 (also from TFPA). The reason the application was published in June 2012 is that the utility application claims the priority date of the provisional application, and June was eighteen months after that date.

  • 2 pints please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by knarf (34928) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @10:49AM (#41464907) Homepage

    Coming soon to a venue close to you:

    Two pints please

    Here you go, that will be 10,-

    10,-? The previous two were 8,-, surely you made a mistake?

    Nay, the total income for this joint just went through the roof, must be that bunch of leeches in suits who came in a few minutes ago. Prices are set according to some fancy profit-maximizing model, and that model told my cash register to charge more. Sorry 'bout that...

    • Actually, there are already bars like that in existence. The prices for each drink are set based on current demand. If everybody is ordering PBR and no one is buying Chimay, the price of PBR will go up and the price of Chimay will go down. Once everyone starts buying up the cheap Chimay, then the price goes back up again. I have never been to one of these places but seen them featured on TV. Check out Exchange Bar and Grill [exchangebarandgrill.com] in NYC.
    • by bjdevil66 (583941)

      Why would they stop at that point? Pricing per individual would be the best optimization, based on how good their credit history, bank account balances, etc.).

      An automated system like this would be able to drive away "less than beautiful" customers. Cheaper alcohol for beautiful people, while pricing out the less-than-rich uglies (who cares if they're ugly if they can buy $20 beers?) The automatic pricing becomes the, "You don't meet our dress code," bouncer at the door. People would figure this out and man

    • That's OK. I am going to spend the same amount of money anyway... It just leave less for the tip.

      I pay for drinks in bars with cash, 1-2 dollars per drink as a tip, with a bigger tip at the beginning of the night to make sure that when its busy I get my order taken before the schlubs. If the price goes up at random, I will just pay the same amount I did before. It is the server who suffers... and then the management who have unhappy servers... and then the owners who cant keep their places staffed. Go for

  • I call bullshit.
  • ... for the first time facial recognition software incorrectly identifies an ordinary schlub as a major celebrity and sends crazed fans/paparazzi to a small neighborhood joint.

    ... for the first Halloween after it goes live. ("60% of patrons at PDQ are undead. 10% are current or past presidents of the United States, etc.")

    ... for the first time the SceneTap data is subpoenaed in a fire death investigation to demonstrate that the bar was overcrowded and the owner knew it.

    ... for the first National Security

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @12:16PM (#41465929)

    A successful female bar owner told me this a while back:

    "Just make your bar a place that women like to come to. If there are women there, men will follow."

    That old rule trumps any high tech.

  • How many bars have you been to where you have to provide your Driver's License for them to swipe through a reader for entry? (This is more common at clubs on Fridays and Saturday, and more so if you're in the college-age crowd hangouts) If so, you've already provided a lot of information about yourself and your time and frequency of visiting which the bars SELL.

    The New York times wrote about it back in 2002 http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20020321thursday.html [nytimes.com]

    and multiple

  • Whatever happened to "hey, I'm going fishing. Want to go?" Its how I met my future wife....
  • by Faux_Pseudo (141152) <<Faux.Pseudo> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:19PM (#41466793) Homepage

    That is one advanced system if it can detect gender. I would have been happy if it could just identify the sex of each person. Gender identity is complicated stuff for humans. ~

  • I think it is finally time for me to finally get the ultimate patent:

    A process by which I can garner information, steps for process:

    1) Gather inputs

    2) Lookup data

    3) Present results.

    I believe that their is definitely no prior art for this patent and I can see multiple potential uses for it in the future.

  • by Myopic (18616) * on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:35PM (#41467893)

    I embrace this technology. If they offer an API, it would be easy to write a NoFatties iPhone app. To really capture the market I would also write a ChubbyChaser app.

  • Before getting excited about any new system, the first question would be, how hard is this to hack? All a bar owner would need to do is have a few pretty girls come in the front door and out the back and the system will start saying that the bar has more women in it than it does. And let the fat ugly fat guys come in the back as well.

  • You guys are talking about a sliding scale for the booze, but you're missing the biggest opportunity here which is for people to pay for score inflation. And of course for other people to pay even more for transparency through the score inflation scheme. Bronze level is free and you get what you get. Silver level you get to shave 5 years and add a market adjusted 1 sigma to your income. Gold level is ten years and 2 sigmas, etc. Of course Gold level "peeper" subscriptions get to see the truth about all
  • They were filming for an episode of Bar Rescue. The owner had authorized the production company to place cameras and mic's everywhere to track the employees, which incidently tracked every patron in the bar as well. When I pointed out that I felt it was an invasion of my privacy the manager told me I was paranoid, while that may be... my four friends and I made sort of a scene and numerous other patrons became involved. The bottom line was about 9 people got up and went across the street to another bar to

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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