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Comedy club uses facial recognition to charge by the laugh

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Big Brother is watching you giggle

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A comedy club in Barcelona is charging patrons per laugh. This is real, according to the BBC.

The Teatreneu club, in partnership with ad agency The Cyranos McCann, has installed tablets on the back of each seat equipped with facial recognition software that can apparently detect when you laugh. The going rate is 0.30 Euros ($0.38) per laugh, up to a maximum of 24 Euros ($30.45). In other words, buy 80 laughs and the rest are free.

The system was reportedly intended to be used as an experiment / case study and then successfully raised the average ticket price. It is now, again according to BBC, being "copied in other theaters around Spain." (I repeat out of incredulity, not mistrust: Europa Press covered the debut in April.)

This is the creepiest thing I've ever seen in a comedy club, and let me be clear, comedy clubs aren't pretty places.

Quantified giggles

I imagine this will inevitably lead to the absolute weirdest argument over a check, going line by line and debating each laugh for intensity and validity:

Chuckle
Chortle
Giggle
Grin
Howl
Roar
Shriek
Snicker
Snort
Whoop
Cachinnate
Crow
Guffaw
Titter
Crack up
Roll in the aisles
Split one's sides
Smirk
Teehee

... And if you're the kind of comedian that favors building up to large laughs (as opposed to, say, a rapid-fire stream of one-liners), then this probably isn't the future for you.