One Barcelona comedy club is experimenting with using facial recognition technology to charge patrons by the laugh.
The comedy club, Teatreneu, partnered with the advertising firm The Cyranos McCann to implement the new technology after the government hiked taxes on theater tickets, according to a BBC report. In 2012, the Spanish government raised taxes on theatrical shows from 8 to 21 percent.
Cyranos McCann installed tablets on the back of each seat that used facial recognition tech to measure how much a person enjoyed the show by tracking when each patron laughed or smiled.
Each giggle costs approximately 30 Euro cents ($0.38). However, if a patron hits the 24 Euros mark, which is about 80 laughs, the rest of their laughs are free of charge.
There’s also a social element. Get this, at the end of the show the patron can also check their laughter account and share their info on social networks. The comedy club in conjunction with their advertising partner even created a mobile app to be used as a system of payment.
While law enforcement has been developing and using facial recognition technology for quite sometime, more industries are beginning to experiment with it.
Some retailers, for example, are considering using the technology to gauge how people might feel while shopping in a certain section of a store.
The U.K. company NEC IT Solutions is even working on technology that would help retailers to identify V.I.P patrons, such as celebrities or preferred customers.
According to a recent report on EssentialRetail.com, the premium department store Harrod’s has been testing facial recognition during the last two years, albeit, the company has been primarily testing it for security reasons.
Facebook also uses facial recognition technology to suggest tags of people who are in images posted on its site.