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article imageComedy club charges 'per laugh'

By Tim Sandle     Oct 13, 2014 in Odd News
Barcelona - A comedy club in Barcelona has decided to charge customers per laugh. This is achieved through an experiment that uses facial-recognition technology. The technology tracks how much clients enjoyed the show by counting their laughter rate.
The Spanish club is called the Teatreneu club, and the experiment is based on tablet computers attached to the back of each seat (so that the person facing forwards is scanned by the computer). It is unknown which software is being used nor how accurate it.
The video below gives an indication of how the technology works:
The comedy club has also launched a mobile app as a method of payment. This is in addition to the theater’s first season ticket based on laughs, not shows.
In terms of the pricing structure, each laugh, chuckle or chortle is charged at 0.30 euros (38 U.S. cents) with a cap set at 24 euros ($30). The cap is the maximum sum a client would be charged for the evening's entertainment, irrespective of the number of acts that perform.
The results of the experiment have so far proved successful, with overall ticket prices up by 6 euros, according to the Metro. According to CNET, the idea was a reaction to increased government taxes on theatrical performances, which severely hit revenue.
So successful has the charge-by-laugh scheme proved that other venues are, the BBC notes, set to copy the unusual payment method.
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