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New App Delivers 'Up-to-the-Minute' Info on NYC Through Live-Streaming

Image source: Facebook/Placemeter

There's a new app that says it can make your city a better place to live.

Placemeter collects and delivers "up-to-the-minute" information such as how crowded a place is, how long the wait is and whether it will be more or less crowded in the next hour. The firm insisted it does not store such information and that its analysis lacks facial recognition software.

"Without identifying individual characteristics, our computer vision technology can count the number of people walking into a given venue and calculate how heavy traffic is on a stretch of street," Placemeter said.

Image source: Facebook/Placemeter Image source: Facebook/Placemeter

The information is gathered by people who voluntarily set up a smartphone to record a livestream of what's happening outside their window. In return, Placemeter will them up to $50 per month.

But the company said it will never identify or track individuals: "We will only use our technology to count people," Placemeter said.

But Ryan Kalember, chief product officer of the document security firm WatchDox, said the risk of the app being used for other purposes is concerning.

“When you have huge amounts of data laying around and the potential for face recognition technology, all in one place, there’s a risk of someone malicious monitoring what they want. Really bad things can happen on the internet when you’re aware of where somebody lives in real life, much less when you have a video feed of what’s going on outside their window in real life," he said, The Guardian reported.

Placemeter is currently only streaming in New York City, despite having already raised $7.6 million.

Watch this video to see how the new app works and how the company says it could improve the city you live in:

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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