Comedy Club Uses Facial Recognition to Charge Audience by the Laugh

P-p-p-pokerface, p-p-pokerface.

Performers at the Teatreneu Club. (Facebook)
Performers at the Teatreneu Club. (Facebook)

The FBI aren’t the only ones implementing new facial recognition software.

A comedy club in Spain is using facial recognition technology to charge patrons by the laugh, the BBC reports.

To monitor audience members’ facial expressions, Barcelona’s Teatreneu Club installed tablets on the back of each of its seats. Patrons are charged 0.30 euros — or $0.38 — every time they laugh, with a maximum fee of 24 euros — or $30.42.

The plan was reportedly concocted in partnership with advertising agency The Cyranos McCann to fight falling attendance rates caused by government taxes on theater tickets. Not only has the Teatreneu Club seen increased ticket revenue since installing the tablets, but other theaters around Spain are apparently piggybacking on the strategy.

We know the plan is working out well for the comedy club, but we wonder if it’s having the same effect on the comedians themselves. After all, performing standup is nerve-wracking enough without the added obstacle of an audience who’s literally trying not to laugh, for fear that they’ll be charged for it.

But hey, as long as E! doesn’t start using facial recognition to monitor and charge us for the number of times we grimace during Keeping up with the Kardashians, we’re totally fine with this. Comedy Club Uses Facial Recognition to Charge Audience by the Laugh