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Using Facial Recognition To Find the Best Bar 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the designated-tapper dept.
nonprofiteer writes "Soon bars will be using facial recognition technology to tell you who's there and their gender breakdown. A start-up called SceneTap is rolling out a new service next month for bars and the patrons who love them: facial detection cameras that will keep track of the number of people in a bar, including a running tally of ladies and gents. Smartphone users will be able to download a free app to 'tap the bar scene' before deciding where to go."
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Using Facial Recognition To Find the Best Bar

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  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:20AM (#36610624)
    Gender ratio? Are we minmaxing on the chances for a bar hookup now? Powergaming the scene? Casual fucks for munchkins? Come on, guys, what happened to just hitting the road and, you know, just go out? First hole in the wall that strikes your fancy? You never know what you will find. Oh, and get off my lawn and take your smart-arse-phone with you.
    • by travdaddy (527149) <travo@linuxmaiPARISl.org minus city> on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:36AM (#36610822)
      Look at it this way, now nerds are getting money for helping people hook up in bars. Of course, the nerds are still not hooking up in bars, but at least it's an improvement.
    • by Pope (17780) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:47AM (#36610964)

      First hole in the wall that strikes your fancy? You never know what you will find..

      Eh, I prefer bars to glory holes, but whatever floats your boat.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      This sounds more like an updated version of the let's enroll in home ec class in order to get a date scheme that many have had over the years. Chances are good that if you need to do that sort of thing, that you're still not going to get anywhere.

      • Yeah, well, that's the point I was on about stated a bit more seriously. In the end, it has no style. It's needy as hell. I don't prowl the streets for a hookup. I just, well, go out. If I meet a girl I like and something develops - fine. If not, then not. Checking the gender ratio in a bar? Please. If I like a bar, I like the bar. Mostly men in there, no "targets"? Fine. Maybe I find a decent new drinking buddy in there. Besides hooking up, bars tend to be a great place to drink in peace and have discussio
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slashdot - news for nerds, finding innovative new ways to get shut down.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @11:31AM (#36612458)

      >Gender ratio?

      Whoa, this place called the "Pink Triangle" is like 99% women!

      • A friend of mine moved to San Francisco because his area of Silicon Valley didn't have very many single women at the local social venues, and he was tired of being single. The neighborhood he moved to _did_ have a lot of women frequenting the bars, but he wasn't the right gender to be their type. (On the other hand, a few months later he met somebody through other social activities he was already involved in, and they hit it off and soon got married, and he moved in to her place in another neighborhood.)

        • When my wife and I go out to drink, we've found that avoiding the meat market is as simple as going to the nearest gay bar.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can just see a drunk bunch of bridesmaids being guided to a biker bar.

    • by PPH (736903)

      I can just see a drunk bunch of bridesmaids being guided to a biker bar.

      You say that as if it were some sort of mistake on their part.

    • Or a LUG or LAN party! :D

      • by treeves (963993)

        OK, I know about "lesbian until graduation", although I did not realize they had themed parties, but what does "LAN" stand for? Lesbian at night?

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:21AM (#36610632)
    ...and end up at a transvestite convention. Ah, technology!
  • And we're all just amused to death.
    • Mods, he's right.

      Just think, you can pay the girls to optimize your gender ratios!

      Also I love the Black Horse phrasing. They're putting facial recognition in bars and all they can figure out what to do with it is count gender ratios? What about the complete lists of patrons, tagged, who have ever been there?

      Cops will luv this!

      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        Just think, you can pay the girls to optimize your gender ratios!

        Well, to be fair...bars already try to do this with things like "ladies night" with drink specials for women.

        If the women are there...the men who drink and spend more will follow.

        • Sure, but that's so "old school analog".

          This story & spinoff tech is talking about micro-quanting the game. You open your phone and check the Barz app. "Joe's Irish has 7 women tonight... no, wait, that's now six, now ten, ... two more and our percentage ratio of boobs will reach the scientifically determined threshold whereupon men drink one extra drink each, so we want that revenue. We'll pay the square root of the price of 12 additional drinks divided by the two extra babes we need."

  • Tranny night at the local watering hole: someone may wind up choosing a bar to go to based on ratio and show up with the wrong expectations. On a more serious note, if enough people know about and use this system, wouldn't this approximately model simulated annealing as people leave the bars with unfavorable ratios and go to bars with more favorable ratios? By the end of the night, all bars in a geographic area will probably exactly represent the ratio of all bar patrons that night divided according to gen
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      On a more serious note, if enough people know about and use this system, wouldn't this approximately model simulated annealing as people leave the bars with unfavorable ratios and go to bars with more favorable ratios? By the end of the night, all bars in a geographic area will probably exactly represent the ratio of all bar patrons that night divided according to gender preference. Thus defending the system against itself.

      Think of it as creating a more efficient "market". Just as the electronic exchanges allow stocks and commodities to be traded with incredible efficiency, so to will these sorts of tools allow for the socializing "market" to be made much more efficient. Just think, no more sausage-fest over-supply of dudes at one bar and a severe under-supply at another just a few blocks away. I would think the equalization of supply and demand would be the ultimate goal of such a system. It will leave the free market fo

      • Upon thinking about this a bit more, the real winners in this system will probably be the hot dog vendors on the street. Bar patrons will be so busy shuttling from one bar to another to find the one with the optimal gender ratio that they'll spend more time in transit than actually in the bar. Possible outcome: alcohol sales drop, hot dog sales skyrocket. On the other hand, less intoxicated people may be less inclined to want to buy street meat.
        • by Mushdot (943219)

          I wonder how long before bars are allowed to pay a little extra to game the system e.g. tell males the bar is full of women or vice versa.

          I can see promotions working quite well with this system too - "The next two men to come to this bar will get a free drink- hurry!"

        • by cayenne8 (626475)

          Upon thinking about this a bit more, the real winners in this system will probably be the hot dog vendors on the street. Bar patrons will be so busy shuttling from one bar to another to find the one with the optimal gender ratio that they'll spend more time in transit than actually in the bar. Possible outcome: alcohol sales drop, hot dog sales skyrocket. On the other hand, less intoxicated people may be less inclined to want to buy street meat.

          Not sure how this would help hot dog vendors.

          Most people DRIV

          • by jeffmeden (135043)

            Most people DRIVE from bar to bar...not walking or taking a bus....at least in the US.

            You're right... the real benefit will be felt by the cops out to arrest drunk drivers!

          • One disadvantage of living in the burbs is driving to bars - I'll have my one drink at the pub and that's it, since I'm driving home. (Nominally I live in a city, but I'm in the residential area, two mile from downtown, and the dive bar I can walk to is really divey.)

            In a Real City, you can walk to bars and restaurants, or take the bus or streetcar or subway if it's farther, and you can crawl home if the bus is too confusing.

        • by jeffmeden (135043)

          How does that work again? If this system is used, they will know where the optimal location is *before* choosing their destination. It would work in the opposite way you described; people would be more likely to stay at the bar they first arrived at given that they know, before they arrive, whether or not it meets their qualifications for a good place to stay. The one possible echo effect would be the ability to qualitatively determine a bar isn't worth staying at, and then going back to your quantitativ

          • This works because different groups have differing opinions on what the optimal ratio is. For example, people seeking men will go to a bar with a higher male-female ratio causing the ratio to shift, therefore causing people to leave seeking a better ratio. Conversely, people seeking women, upon noticing the high male-female ratio (I'm assuming not everyone has the application so they may not know a priori what the ratio is), they will begin defecting to different bars. This will cause those with access to t
            • Heh, viewing it as a simulated annealing prozess is quite interesting. However, I for one, do not welcome our new optimization overlords and rather stick with my personalized Monte Carlo approach to bar hopping - random jumps from bar to bar with the hopping frequency modified by the distance to my desired optimum, following the gradient of perceived quality while being between bars. Steepest descent, naturally :P
            • by jeffmeden (135043)

              Ugh... That could take... HOURS! We have no problem dealing with things as trivial as securitized mortgages on exchanges that price-correct in a few milliseconds. Something as special as finding true love deserves at least that level of sophistication. I say bring on the market makers. (mostly because I am already married, and hence my only interest is the academic spectacle of such a well-recorded sociological system.)

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Yes, but the problem with efficiency is homogenization - there are no surprises. Instead of being sometimes awful and sometimes legendary, everything is just like it always is.
    • all bars in a geographic area will probably exactly represent the ratio of all bar patrons that night

      ... not all bars...

      divided according to gender preference.

      Exactly. While most will have 60%/40% (or whatever will be the gender ratio), some bars will have 99% men (plus 1% fruit flies), and a small number will be 99% women (and drop out of the system in order to keep it that way...).

  • They should make something that can tell us how drunk they are too.
    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      The less clothing they're wearing, the more drunk they are. Unfortunately it also applies to men.

    • by tchdab1 (164848)

      How attractive they are, and how drunk they are, and other things:
      A real-time graph of local bars (and local parties with > 12 people so you can more easily crash them!) with amount of people, % of desirable gender, degree of attractiveness (important!) , % etoh consumed, and possibly other factors: type and loudness of music, price of drinks, cover charge, have the police been notified, is there parking or transportation available, how reliable are these statistics (how many sources), etc.

      This would g

  • Can this be combined with software to match the face to the "beauty mask" template, which measures the proportions of facial features to guage attractiveness? Adjusted for tolerance depending on how drunk the app user is / is prepared to get. I just want to coin the term "beer googles".
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This will be one more great reason **NOT** to go to the bar

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I completely agree. It would be better if we could get a count of how many people at a location have this app installed on their phone, and then avoid those places. I would much prefer to go to the places where these people are not going.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:28AM (#36610718)

    Looking for useful data?

    1 - Replace camera for full body scanner.
    2 - Order pictures by cup size.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Ultimately, we're going to need genital recognition software to solve the problems this system is supposed to solve.

      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        The main reason this technology doesn't advance is because of the difficulty of finding new employees.

        Now many people would write in their CV "Expert in genital recognition software".

        And you probably wouldn't want to know most of those who would.

      • by treeves (963993)

        FYI, breasts are not genitals. Oh, you were talking about eliminating man-boobs. Good idea!

      • by Geminii (954348)
        So, do you prefer pre-op or post-op?
    • by Syberz (1170343)

      Considering that some bars have policies similar to the TSA, I wouldn't be too surprised that this will happen one day.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Excuse me miss?

    Whatdaya mean miss?

    I'm sorry, I have a cold...

  • And the bar posts its Facebook page "Norm!"
  • I read "gender breakdown" as "genetic breakdown." Needless to say, I was more excited before I re-read the post.
  • by jsepeta (412566) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:35AM (#36610806) Homepage

    i go there to drink in peace

  • by Taibhsear (1286214) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:35AM (#36610816)

    It'll let me know what bars NEVER to go to.
    Also, isn't this like a blatant rip off of some episode of that show where the main character reads micro-facial expressions to tell when people are lying? (which was a blatant parallel to facebook/Zuckerberg)

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      "Micro-facial expressions"... Is that what people look like after they get really tiny facials (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_(sex_act))?
      (ps I know you meant microexpressions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microexpressions)).

      • by Macgrrl (762836)

        "Micro-facial expressions"... Is that what people look like after they get really tiny facials

        So, that would be slightly grossed out mixed in with a bit of relieved and somewhat sticky?

  • ... when they're all planted face down on the floor.

  • Hi, my name is Werner Brandes. My voice is my passport. Verify me.
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:48AM (#36610986)

    Completely floors me what people will give up with regards to privacy. Then again, this is yet another shining example that sex sells.

    This is really necessary? I probably would NOT end up going to bars that use this technology, but then again, I'm not one of the ignorant sheep who feels this is an "innocent gesture" or a "cool app to have on my phone". Big Brother at it's finest, portraying themselves as the sheep in wolves clothing.

    Oh and for you married folks out there, might want to reconsider hitting the bars looking for your next extramarital affair. I can already see this tech being (ab)used by divorce attorneys and private investigators.

    • by Lazy Jones (8403)

      I can already see this tech being (ab)used by divorce attorneys and private investigators.

      And burglars, employers (dude called in sick? check out his favourite bar...) ... Of course it will also enable them to gather statistics regarding how much time you spent at which bar, send alerts to interested people if your face is recognized somewhere etc. etc. ...

      • by ox01a4 (2147002)
        What till your insurance is able to pull up the amount of time that you spend in a bar. I'm sorry your rates are going up because you will need a new liver soon.
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @11:19AM (#36612288) Homepage

      Completely floors me what people will give up with regards to privacy. Then again, this is yet another shining example that sex sells.

      This is really necessary? I probably would NOT end up going to bars that use this technology

      That was my first reaction ... I'm not sure I'm comfortable with random commercial establishments doing full-on facial recognition. It's sure as hell not opt-in, and at what point does this happen every public place I'm in? Way too much erosion of privacy and way too much surveillance society.

      The whole notion kind of skeeves me out a little ... as you say "Big Brother at it's finest, portraying themselves as the sheep in wolves clothing."

      Do not want.

  • Turn the camera around and show me what bottles are on the shelves...
    • by russotto (537200)

      Turn the camera around and show me what bottles are on the shelves...

      Doesn't matter what's on the shelves, they're going to pull your booze from the well anyway.

      • by chinton (151403)
        Corollary: Doesn't matter who is on the floor, your going home with horse-face.
      • What kind of shady bars do you go to? At any place I visit, if I ask for a liquor by name, that's what I get.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      If all you care about is selection, skip the bar and hit the liquor store. More selection and cheaper too.

      The only thing bars are good for are concerts.

  • While everyone else is looking for bars packed with women, I'll be able to see which places with good beer selections have open seats at the bar. There's nothing better than a quiet bar with good beer and a friendly barkeep.

  • I hope it does a better job recognizing drag queens than I do...
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I hope it does a better job recognizing drag queens than I do...

      Pro tip ... look for the Adams apple.

      The plastic cigarette holder, cocktail gloves, and using the word "dahling" might help, but not in all cases. ;-)

      Also, if they go into the men's room and use the urinal ... but I've actually seen women do that, so it's again not something which works in all cases. :-P

  • this whole idea is doomed to failure. Think this through.

    Salesman: "Hey, barkeep. Would you like to hook up some cameras and advertise your male to female ratio?"
    Barkeep: "Huh? What?"
    Salesman: "It's a new thing. You put up some cameras and our software tracks how many males and females come in so guys around town can look up and see how many girls are at your bar. Cool, huh?"
    Barkeep: "What's it cost?"
    Salesman: "For only $1,200 you can get started today"
    Barkeep: "How many guys in my town use your
  • I don't understand. All it needs to do is take a picture of the taps so I can see if there is any good beer on.

  • They're completely reinventing the wheel. Most places have barcode scanners or OCR cameras at the bouncer's station that record IDs as they come into the bar. Since most drivers licenses record gender info, why not tap into that?

  • Just wait until they start using this to determine cover fees when a band is playing, or using it to game the system so they appear at the top of the list.

    Bar owner via headset, from the back room on his computer: "It's mostly men at the EXTRA BRUTAL ANTI-WOMEN HARDCORE BAND concert that's playing. Bouncer, there aren't enough women." Or, "We are at 10th place on the guy/girl ratio list. We need to get to the top of that list. Bouncer, do what you need to do."
    Bouncer: "Sorry dude at the door, until more gir

  • Some people are going to falsely show up as Male or Female.

    >>> But is the Software accurate, if it says; "Wow, this bar has a lot of babes!" and it's a Lesbian bar?

    Then again, some people might prefer the "more ambiguous" looking folks... .... so what we really want is few categories and a scatter chart of "ratio of feminie-looking to masculine-looking people".

    ADD to that, a "how did our selection go?" response, would not rate the algorithm, but "modify" how that person ACTUALLY prefers people to l

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