App taps into the nightlife scene with facial detection software

Startup mobile application SceneTap is looking to attract consumers, investors, and potential partners for its new location-based app.

Organization
SceneTap (Austin, TX)
PR agency

Walker Sands Communications (Chicago)
Campaign

SceneTap Brings Real-Time Info on Local Nightlife
Duration

June 2011 to present
Budget

Approximately $70,000

Startup mobile application SceneTap is looking to attract consumers, investors, and potential partners for its new location-based app.

Strategy
Prior to the launch in 2011, Walker Sands began working to position SceneTap as the newest innovative app with real-time facial detection technology.

The app tracks the number of people, age, and male-to-female ratio of the local bar scene.

Walker Sands tapped into Chicago's nightlife to expand Scene Tap. Media coverage included Mashable, TechCrunch, and lifestyle publication RedEye.

Tactics
Walker Sanders released participating venues every week to build anticipation.

A week before the launch, media and nightlife bloggers got a sneak peek of the application's capabilities on a bar tour. The firm set up interviews with SceneTap's CEO Cole Harper.

Walker Sands reacted quickly when Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission saying facial recognition technologies are a threat to privacy. Often confused with technology that determines a person's identity, the app uses facial detection technology to determine gender and age.

The agency and SceneTap addressed the FTC at a Washington, DC, panel.

Results
By the first weekend of launch, SceneTap accumulated 15,000 downloads and 600,000 site visits. The app had more than 200,000 downloads and was covered by the Associated Press, The New York Times, and CNN.

Future
SceneTap plans to expand into new markets, as well as a few college towns. There has been talk of licensing the technology to other industries.

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