The "Fifteen quid and I didn't even crack a smile" post-gig moan may soon be reduced to history as an ingenious Spanish comedy club is getting punters to pay by the chuckle, rather than a flat rate, thanks to a back-of-the-seat iPad packed with a Brit firm's facial recognition software.
The Teatrenu club in Barcelona uses London-based Glassworks' Pay Per Laugh application, which won eight Lions at this year's Cannes International Festival of Creativity. It charges €0.30 (£0.24) per guffaw, up to a session cap of €24 (£18) for some 80 laughs, which seems pretty good value to us, although it could make a Louie CK gig a fairly pricey affair.
According to AdForum, each time the tablet's camera picks up a smile, it takes a picture and sends it to the PPL server, which monitors the numbers. Depending on the preset parameters of the venue's choosing, it can also recognise different emotional states, from offended sadness to just straight fascination.
Your up-to-the-minute laugh stats are then displayed on said iPad and, thanks to more advertising bods at The Cyranos McCann, can be shared on social networks if you're particularly proud of your bellowing/smug at not finding anything remotely amusing (every group booking has one of them).
There's even a laugh-fuelled mobile payment app, too.
It's certainly a smart way of combating Spain's rising theatre tax, which has reportedly leapt from 8 per cent to 21 per cent, reducing the Teatreneu's audience figures by 30 per cent last year. Since this techy stunt, the average ticket price is now said to be up by €6 (£4.70), resulting in 35 per cent more turnstile traffic.