A new website, SceneTap, uses facial recognition software placed in a bar or other venue to calculate approximate ages as well as gender and to count the number of people inside. An FAQ at the firm’s website explains how the technology works.

(Check out The AP report aboutSceneTap here.)

SceneTap FAQ

  • How does SceneTap’s technology work?

SceneTap uses anonymous facial detection software placed inside a venue. Based on facial characteristics of patrons, SceneTap technology approximates age and gender with a high degree of accuracy.

SceneTap also counts the number of people entering and leaving the venue at any given time to report crowd size.

  • This seems ‘Big Brother’-ish. Is my privacy at risk?

Not at all. In fact, SceneTap has no idea who you are and does not collect personal information. You give up your personal information when a doorman scans your ID or you check in via foursquare, but not when you enter a SceneTap venue. It’s less intrusive than paying a bill with a credit card.

Though the software is video-based, SceneTap does not stream or record images, and no one – including the operator of the venue – has access to the video.

  • Where is all this information processed?

The software can only identify facial features and accurately estimate each person’s gender and age. This information is processed by the software connected to the sensors in each venue.

  • Are you selling my personal information in an attempt to achieve world domination?

No. Facial detection technology cannot identify individuals.

  • What is the difference between facial detection and facial recognition?

SceneTap uses a technology known as ‘facial detection’ in order to deliver real-time information on the scene of its partner venues. Commonly mistaken for ‘facial recognition’, facial detection merely detects the presence of a face and estimates the gender and age of the face based on how it appears. Facial recognition, which attempts to determine a person’s actual identity, is a technology that SceneTap neither uses nor has any plans to use. Our goal is to give you an entertaining and informative tool that helps you answer a common question, “What’s it like at my favorite venues right now?”