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international news _ 30th January, 2006

Big Brother to Start Watching New York Clubbers

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

US surveillance company AD Communications and Security have announced they are to start testing a new facial-recognition system called BioBouncer in New York clubs, which they hope to install in venues throughout the States later this year.

The camera-based system photographs individual revellers as they enter and leave a club and builds an instantly accessible database of undesirables who can be excluded on future visits, the company boasts.

"Utilizing facial recognition biometric technology, BioBounce compares the facial images of club patrons to a database of potentially dangerous persons who have violated club policy in the past," they say on their website.

"BioBouncer matches against 1,000,000 faces in less than one-second (and has) the ability to network your unwanted database with other clubs in the area," they add.

The BioBouncer system (described as 'creepy' by the Village Voice this week) is significantly less efficient than ID Scan's Clubscan product, a similar system launched in November in Britain, which also stores ID card details as well revellers' faces.

"You can display all the 'photo images' of customers that entered your venue at a particular date or time in one gallery, enabling customers and/or police to quickly identify a single person," say ID Scan on their site, adding 'ClubScan is much more than just a scanner and database provider.

"Use the statistics captured by ClubScan to search for and analyse your clients' personal data, habits and even their behaviour on a single evening or over a period of time."

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