These San Francisco Bars Are Streaming Online Footage of You Getting Drunk

Categories: Tech

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Courtesy of the East Bay Express
​The East Bay Express had an excellent and eye-opening item this week about an iPhone app called BarSpace.

According to Express writer Ellen Cushing:

Founded by a handful of Sonoma County entrepreneurs, the app, BarSpace, and its related Website, BarSpace.tv, employ a simple concept: Install cameras in bars and nightclubs and then streams that video live through a free iPhone app, as well as through the company's Website. The cameras are installed and paid for by BarSpace; each bar decided the hours between which they'd like to transmit a video stream.

It's ostensibly designed so users can check out the scene at a bar while still at home. Your favorite dive is too crowded? Maybe there's an open table somewhere else. Still, we feel a little creeped out by the entire concept -- especially when we saw how many bars in San Francisco are already streaming live drunks.

Just a few of the nearly 50 watering holes that are participating in the BarSpace app include:

The app developers claim the cameras are mainly placed at high, wide angles, which means individual faces are hard to pick out. Still the idea that some creeper could be watching streaming footage -- however grainy and indistinct -- of us dancing at the Make Out Room after a beer (or seven) gives us the serious heebie-jeebies.

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Mykl Roventine/Flickr
Take a shot while being shot on streaming web video.
What's worse, this seems to be part of a growing trend. We recently got a press release for an app called SceneTap, which promises to provide "real-time info on local bars, including the atmosphere, number of people in the bar, male-to-female ratio, and the average age of each customer." How will SceneTap provide all of this information? Cameras using "facial detection and 'people-counting' technologies to automatically collect and provide demographic data on the venue's customers."

And that's just what we're looking when we're trying to relax and act stupid at a bar: decent atmosphere, a good jukebox, and cameras using Big Brotheresque tech to watch us booze.

Cheers to the future, guys. Now, if you'll excuse us, we're going to go drink at home.

You can see a full list of all the bars streaming footage on the next page.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Milk Bar

1840 Haight, San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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136 comments
cfondacci
cfondacci

Maybe smarter initiative is apps like PelMel Guide, targetting the gay community only, where you could see all bars around with the guys currently there. You don't see videos, you just see profiles. Still, you get the info you want : "who's there?". More info on http://www.pelmelguide.com 

obvious
obvious

If your worried about people seeing you act like an idiot when your drunk, then dont be an idiot, or quit drinking.

Keith
Keith

Is this journalism or some form of an editorial?  Journalism would be a stretch as its doubtful if any fact checking was done.  Would it not have been wise to do a little fact checking before you list bars and potentially damage their business and reputation?  For example, you listed The Boardroom as one of the primary bars out of the 50 using Barspace. Perhaps it is listed on their site, but that does not make it so.  As the proprietor of The Boardroom I can tell you the camera application has never been turned on. We did, however, use their mobile deal application.  See a difference there?  All one needs to do is go to their website, check for a link, and click on it. Voila! It is tough enough to deal with the government let alone our own local media.  Keep slamming us and see who buys your ad space that pays your salary.  Great job!Keith

PS. If you check the link for Tope you will see it does not work either.  I bet that is the case with many of the bars on the list.  

Davij227
Davij227

As a native San Franciscan and journalist, I havealways revered San Francisco based publications, such as SF Weekly and SFChronicle. Unfortunately, this esteem was recently belittled due to an articlepublished in the SF Weekly regarding a new phone app titled SceneTap. I mustfirst express that I am not here to defend SceneTap in anyway, but rather toput into light the lack of morality and dependability that has befallenjournalism today.

I havehad the opportunity to examine many of the aspects of what SceneTap trulyentails, which starkly contrasts that which is stated in the article “These San FranciscoBars Are Streaming Online Footage of You Getting Drunk”. To guide you gentlythrough my concerns, first, this article leads with introducing an iPhone App namedBarSpace, which, for reasons unbeknownst to me, failed in the San Franciscomarket. The author, Mr. Jake Swearingen, claims BarSpace is a sort of Big Brother type of technology, which, to put it simply,takes live feed of you drunk at a bar and streams it online. Again, being morefamiliar with SceneTap than BarSpace, I cannot candidly claim whether or notthis is true. What I can assert with greater conviction is that, despite the authors’bold claims, SceneTap does no such thing. Using, as SceneTap states in theirpress release, “facial detection and'people-counting' technologies to automatically collect and provide demographicdata on the venue's customers”, the app user will be provided with an average –an average on how many people are in the bar, how many are male or female andhow old a person is. Nowhere in this reading do the units installed in each venueprovide a live feed that anyone can watch streaming online. This dispels Mr.Swearingen’s paranoia that anyone can which him, hypothetically, fall off abarstool, unable to get up for several minutes.

Following the captivating, though fictitious,article, is ”a full list of all the bars streaming footage on the next page”. Whatwe have instead is a list of bars, some of which were associated to BarSpace,some SceneTap, and some just to throw in there for apparent fun, that isneither unexamined nor verified.

Mr. Swearingen, if you desire to drink at home, thenby all means. But beware of that friend that will post a video feed on YouTubeof you passed on in the tub tenderly embracing a rubber ducky.

And please, for journalisms sake, next time investigateyour accusations before you slander again.

 

Web design London
Web design London

I agree with others however about the obvious legal ramifcations, etc. that could crop up from someone using your bar as their audition video for the porn industry or other activity that gets you thrown in jail or your business shutdown.

Web design London
Web design London

I'm with you! I'm in Boston and would love to see Boston bands performing live online. I would pay a couple of bucks too to see it. 

james craig
james craig

I'm with you! I'm in Boston and would love to see Boston bands performing live online. I would pay a couple of bucks too to see it. 

Web design London
Web design London

I agree with others however about the obvious legal ramifcations, etc. that could crop up from someone using your bar as their audition video for the porn industry or other activity that gets you thrown in jail or your business shutdown.

Web design London
Web design London

 There is a fool with a camera on ever corner now who can upload it to the net before you finish whatever it is YOU are doing to ruin your life. Don't go to the bar.

Web design london
Web design london

I agree with others however about the obvious legal ramifcations, etc. that could crop up from someone using your bar as their audition video for the porn industry or other activity that gets you thrown in jail or your business shutdown.

Web design London
Web design London

I agree with others however about the obvious legal ramifcations, etc. that could crop up from someone using your bar as their audition video for the porn industry or other activity that gets you thrown in jail or your business shutdown.

Web design London
Web design London

This is nothing new. The "Hog's Breath" in Key West Florida has had a streaming web cam for years. No big deal. 

Web design London
Web design London

The standard kneejerk answer of "Then, just don't go there" is the mindset of someone who has little understanding of how a fool with a camera can wreck somebody's life.

Web design London
Web design London

 I read the headline that linked to this site, "SF Bars streaming live ...," I wasn't sure if BARS were streaming live online, or if you California lib fascists were barring the streaming of live footage.

Web design London
Web design London

I agree with others however about the obvious legal ramifcations, etc. that could crop up from someone using your bar as their audition video for the porn industry or other activity that gets you thrown in jail or your business shutdown.web Design london

rubens
rubens

BarSpace  is a cool site with some nice webcams - hereare some amazing more bar & club cams around the world: http://baladacam.com 

web development bangalore
web development bangalore

 I can't imagine why any smart bar owner would go for this.  Unless, as one commenter said, they were video-ing the band or something like that, close up without patrons in the frame.  

bp
bp

In regards to SceneTap: The automation is possible through data collectors (cameras) that are installed on the premise of the bar, with an anonymous video feed being analyzed by a software program which can count people, determine gender, and estimate age. Since there is no recording and each person is tracked anonymously, there are no privacy issues or liability risks related to the service.  The data collected, however, is extremely useful to measure the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising.

Joseph Gier
Joseph Gier

I honestly wont be going to these places; it not like a big party person  but I think this is  unnecessary and intrusive. Facial recognition and database collection is getting better and better and who to say what these people are going to do with the information once it is collected? Consider that it might be shared with others (i.e. law enforcement, government agencies, insurance agencies as a few examples). 

Jacob Ford
Jacob Ford

I'd be more worried about your STD epidemic up there in SF than some creepers watching you make a slut of yourself at the bar! :)

Solar
Solar

Don't like it? Stay home!Personally, you'll never catch me in the Bay area for any reason, I left that rat hole of perversion long ago for the high Sierra, where you won't find cameras in the forest.

http://conservativepoliticalfo...

Alideer
Alideer

Tell me then: Why do we want to watch a bunch of SF queers kissing each other?

notobiggov
notobiggov

They allow bars in San Francisco?

notthechangewevotedfor
notthechangewevotedfor

Law enforcement, significant others and bar owners are going to love this.

Police will be waiting for the drunks with the paddy wagon and significant others will be waiting with a baseball bat.

If I were a bar owner I would hire a few sexy woman to parade back and forth in front of the camera with signs saying, "Are you free for a few drinks?" and implement a $10 cover charge.

Justin Harmon
Justin Harmon

"Still the idea that some creeper could be watching streaming footage -- however grainy and indistinct -- of us dancing at the Make Out Room after a beer (or seven) gives us the serious heebie-jeebies." .... Yet you have no problem putting your drunk ass on display for everyone else in the bar - because we all know there are no "creepers" hanging out in bars!

Keir Heath
Keir Heath

I lived in China for eight years. I come back to find the concept of privacy no longer counts for anything, and a man's personal space is free to be violated for any price and without his consent. I go to bars to get away from it all- and now even when I go out to have a drink or relax I have to be spied on? Such contempt for their customers if allowed to be continued will only speed us on this slippery slope where the land of the free will mean free to spy and exploit.www.tracesofevil.com

The AntiChrist
The AntiChrist

Again, two sides: the brainless who could care less they're being spied on,because cameras are everywhere & you can't do anything about it so you might as well roll over & spread your cheeks; and the whiners who are all talk & no action, sitting behind their keyboards saying "do this,don't do that", but don't have the cojones to do what the Constitution says it's your DUTY to do.

I don't expect San Fran (or even the entire flaky state of Cali) to do a blasted thing when the time comes to do your duty. You people are beyond help. And history will remember you that way.

Keith Nicoll
Keith Nicoll

seriously? You're gonna get pissed at this? Geeez get real....there are far more important things in life than to worry about a camera watching a group of people....I think its more of those conspiracy people who think everything they do is being questioned.....if you're guilty of being watched, maybe you are doing something you shouldn't be. geeez

BillybobBiden
BillybobBiden

How boring, watching a bunch of old 'Stool Pushing' Butt Pirates' sipping on their "Cock' tails.

Jugears McKenyan Jr
Jugears McKenyan Jr

Oh this is a great idea. More excuses for the drunken fools to act more the fool for the cameras so they can get 'noticed' and become the next  MTV society damaging Gay BayArea Jersey shore crew.

You put cameras where drunk and even non inebriated Americans today they act wprse than the Chimps in the local zoo's monkey house. Just look behind every reporter on tv each night on the news. Add drinking and club drugging to the mix and It's Jersey Shore LIVE!!

Jugears McKenyan Jr
Jugears McKenyan Jr

Oh this is a great idea. More excuses for the drunken fools to act more the fool for the cameras so they can get 'noticed' and become the next  MTV society damaging Gay BayArea Jersey shore crew.

You put cameras where drunk and even non inebriated Americans today they act worse than the Chimps in the local zoo's monkey house. Just look behind every reporter on tv each night on the news. Add drinking and club drugging to the mix and It's Jersey Shore LIVE!!

Jugears McKenyan Jr
Jugears McKenyan Jr

Oh this is a great idea. More excuses for the drunken fools to act more the fool for the cameras so they can get 'noticed' and the next  MTV societal damaging Gay Bay Jersey shore crew.

You put cameras where drunk and even non inebriated Americans today they act wprse than the Chimps in the local zoo's monkey house. Just look behind every reporter on tv each night on the news. Add drinking and club drugging to the mix and It's Jersey Shore LIVE!!

Guest
Guest

Hmm, me thinks the first time some young woman is raped and murdered because she was watched over the streaming feed by some predator who knew exactly when she is leaving the bar drunk and alone, this practice will cease.  The potential for criminal use here is staggering.

Northohio
Northohio

The politicians are just afraid their wives will see them with their girlfriends.

Dan
Dan

Drudge Report linked to this article with the headline "SF bars streaming live footage online". I thought it meant San Francisco had passed a law against (had "barred") anyone streaming live video online. Glad to see I was wrong.

Stephen
Stephen

One of many new TECHIED fad "FASCISMS" right now happening.  So, why do you think you own a computer, & all those other apps-laden fun gizmos?? I like just reported how Massachusetts cops can track your car license plate via GPS or whatever,... ANYTIME...even at your favorite strip club or illegal dog fight...

Gee, next we might just hafta face fad-ridden "ECO-FASCISM" or something...

Mike
Mike

Actually I wish they had that here in a few bars. Could save some money for sure. Watch the girls you like when they start stumbling go to the bar buy them one last drink and take'em home. You could save hundreds.

M1
M1

Wow. Can people from San Francisco get any dumber?

slade
slade

another gay idea only in San Fran you can check out where the boys/girls at..add the Hell Hole Bar to the list of the joints equiped with latest cam action.

Norge
Norge

Will try to warn the intelligent one more time as the censors are trying to create a safer working enviorment for the evil-doers.  Right now there are rapists and kidnappers and murderers sitting up the block watching their wireless laptop looking at your girlfriends, your wifes and daughters waiting and looking for the next victim that might leave alone.  So if you think this is "no big deal" just wait till the body count starts rising, and there are nmo leads because the bad guys never even had to enter the bar to stalk/seek their victims.  Innocents are going to die because of this, and some idiots say "whats the difference"! Wow, all of a sudden all my posts are back!! I guess even in SF occasionally there is freedom of speech for a conservative once in a while!

Norge
Norge

Lib-tard Censorship by the facist-uber-liberals is alive and well on this forum!

Norge
Norge

Censors at work because you respond to the morons here under reply, sooo we'll try a newer angle.  So stupid people are saying the guy could come to the bar and watch the same thing,so whats the difference.  So again I will object to their inbred ingnorance and point out the obvious difference:  When the creeps,pervs rapists and murders watch the stream from their laptop and wait for YOUR daughter, son, girlfriend, wife or whatever, to leave alone, then cut their throat for cash, kidnap, rape and torture and kill...well...thats OK with you because it could have "happened in the bar" right?  Won't mention the names of any idiots who support this theory like mknute or anything, wouldn't want to embarrass a card-carrying lib-tard.

Real Rick
Real Rick

So how do you go yo a bar to get-away from the ol' lady?    Ohhhh, San Francisco, the "ol' man"?

Gwylie
Gwylie

Tip to women, don't leave alone

Stephen
Stephen

Great for stalkers, eh...?

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