Food & Drink

Use Google to Predict Bar Crowds

In its never-ending quest to help you avoid human interaction, Google can now tell you just how crowded your favorite bar is at this very moment, meaning you can scope out the scene without ever putting on pants. The tech giant just upgraded the “popular times” feature of Google Maps, which already estimated average drinker density, with real-time data, taking all the guesswork out of your mission to have a quiet Manhattan.

According to FWx, the new features started rolling out today. The original crowd-sensing tool launched last year using anonymous location data to determine average crowds at restaurants and shops based on the time of day and day of the week, but real-time info is especially useful for hot, new bars and during the holiday season. Along with the sheer number of people, Google will also estimate the average time drinkers spend at a particular watering hole, letting you time your arrival to an upcoming low period.

Beyond reminding us that our phones double as tracking devices (which is only slightly terrifying), Google’s newest toy may actually help us avoid waiting outside a packed bar in the freezing cold. Perhaps someday Google can just 3-D print us a cocktail at home, making pants (and the outside world) truly obsolete.