At This Comedy Club, It's 38 Cents a Laugh

Barcelona venue using facial-recognition tech to spot guffaws
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2014 11:33 AM CDT

Audiences beware: If you laugh too much at this comedy club, you'll pay for it—literally. Barcelona's Teatreneu is using facial-recognition technology to charge visitors by the laugh, the BBC reports. Come to the club, and the seat in front of you will have a tablet tracking your chuckles. You'll pay about 38 cents for each one, though you'll never have to pay more than about $30.

The idea comes after the government raised taxes on theater tickets, prompting audiences to shrink. Now, if you don't laugh, you won't pay; the system replaces normal tickets, the Independent reports, so you'll get into the show for free. The results? People are paying almost $8 more per visit, and audiences have climbed by about 35%, the Independent notes; that's with help from media coverage, as a YouTube video points out. Now, other Spanish venues are picking up on the idea; perhaps we'll eventually see it stateside. (More comedy stories.)

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