Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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layout display

digitally displayed template for laying out complex arrangements
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I want to have a wedding reception, so I go to a big hotel to book one fo their banquet rooms. They ask me how I would like the room layed out. I say I don't know, but there will be about 200 people, we want to have a buffet table, table for gifts, a table for the cake, dance floor etc. The hotel salesperson then uses a handheld device to bring up a variety of possible layout templates, which are each beamed onto the floor of the banquet hall in 2-D outlines of light so that I can see how each one fits the space, etc. I pick one, but ask if I can move the head table to the other side of the room and move the seating table a little closer together to make room for a bigger dance floor. The salespeson says' "No problem" enters the changes in his handheld device and beams the new layout onto the floor. I okay it, sign my intials on the screen of the handheld device and book the room.

Then, the day before my reception, the banquet manager reviews the next day's events on his/her desktop and makes a few minor changes to the layout based on the menu, etc. The day of my reception, my dad shows up with a new girlfriend and I realize I am going to need another seat at the head table. I call the banquet manager and he/she goes in and makes the change on his/her desktop. Later that morning, the setup crew goes into the banquet hall, enters a code into a pad on the wall and my custom layout shines down onto the floor allowing them to set up exactly what I have approved in pergect geometric regularity, down to the placement of the tables, chairs and even silverware, all very quickly and efficiently because they do not have to eyeball the orientation of the tables or shift them around when their intial spacing doesn't allow for a big enough dance floor. Everything goes quickly and smoothly, the hall looks wonderful for my reception, I leave a generous tip for the banquet service staff and my new bride makes it a wedding night that I'll never forget.

All of this should be able to be done with relatively unsophisticated existing software and some sort of laser display. I saw something that looked like a laser pointer, but then you could screw little caps on top and it would beam "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Birthday" or some other sign on the wall or ceiling. I'm thinking something like that could work, but I'm not sure how the technical side of making such a display easily programmable would work. This is my first posting here (sorry for the length), but I gather I don't have to have everything figured out yet.

This could be applied to any industry where items need to be frequently and precisely arranged in an otherwise empty space (e.g. trade shows, schools, department stores, etc.)

jnerdin, Sep 07 2006

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       This idea adds one important aspect to the 3D design package you link to: it projects the layout onto the actual floor - with lasers!
jutta, Sep 08 2006
  

       [Brau] you know, I think they might. Imagine all the technophile customers they'd get. [+]
david_scothern, Sep 09 2006
  

       [Brau] I'm aware of the design software to which you linked, but the primary benefit behind my idea would be efficiency in communicating the design to the set-up team and allowing them to set up more quickly and accurately. In a large busy hotel, banquet rooms are set up and broken down at least two, sometimes up to four times a day. The more quickly this happens, the more each room gets used and the more money they make. However, you're right that if it costs too much to install, it wouldn't be worth it. I'm just not sure what projection technology (laser or other) would be required or how much it would cost.
jnerdin, Sep 11 2006
  

       Welcome, [jnerdin]. I would like to point out that if the floor were transparent or semiopaque, one could project from below and thus not occlude the layout scheme with shadows while placing the furniture.   

       Also, the same mechanism could be used during the event to project labeled rings onto the floor to make sure guests stand in the appropriate places during the reception and subsequent ceremony. If the projection laser system could move fast enough, it could be used to project moving foot shaped prints onto the floor which might help infrequent dancers figure out what to do.
bungston, Sep 11 2006
  

       Nice idea. Have a bun.
dbmag9, Sep 11 2006
  

       can it orchestrate a good riot?
xenzag, Sep 11 2006
  
      
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