Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Conveyor Belt Queues

Queue leisurely and comfortably
  [vote for,

Millions of humans are still spending minutes if not hours each week in uncomfortable queues. The Internet and online transactions have helped, but queues are still a familiar sight in cities. What happens in a queue? You get bored, your legs get tired, you waste time.

Now, imagine a large circular (or any shape that loops) row of comfortable seats where you can sit down and do whatever you want. The seats are attached to a conveyor belt embedded in the floor which quietly rotates with minimum hassle each time a customer is served; when your turn comes you are rotated to the counter. Seats can face either inward or outward, or be freely rotating. Attached to each seat is a mini-table with cold water, cigarette tray, mints and some magazines.

baboo, Apr 29 2002


       You'll need separate 'smoking' queues.
neelandan, Apr 29 2002

       10 cigarettes or less only.
brewmaster, Apr 29 2002

       You'd have to put some effort into determining the size of the queue with 95% confidence (or whatever level of confidence you find appropriate), in order to avoid wasting a lot of space.
herilane, Apr 29 2002

       brewmaster: fewer!!!!!!!!!   

       It's not necessarily in organizations' interests to encourage people to queue. The more uncomfortable it is for queuers the less likely they are to stay around; it helps regulate the number of people who come at different times. Of course, this depends on what they're queuing for, and what the patterns of queue length are. Plus, as herilane points out, this would take space, and space=money.
pottedstu, Apr 29 2002

       True space=money. But time=money too.   

       If people could make use of their time in queues (like work on their laptops or just enjoy a moment of relaxation) then that has some economic value too.   

       And it's part of customer relationship management. A company that goes out of its way to make queues comfortable for people is likely to become popular. And the novelty could get you some press stories.   

       Of course, building the device itself is likely to cost more than the space it would take. But if mass-produced it'll probably be cheaper. And even when the queue counter is closed, the chairs can still double up as lounge seats. I think it would be cool to have them in places like amusement parks or airports.
baboo, Apr 30 2002

       well, from a practical perspective (I know, I know) the benefit of this over a normal take-a-number system, with the well-stocked mini-tables, is minimal.   

       If you're willing to spend money on queue accomodations like the mini-tables you could even have the turn-taking device be built in to the table. Sit down, press a button, it displays "you are number 17 in the queue". It counts down as people leave the queue and eventualy notifies you with a soft bong that your turn is up.
wiml, May 01 2002

       If it's a long queue, you could put them on buses and queue the buses.   

       Instead of moving the queuers, move the queuee's desk/counter along the line of seats.
FarmerJohn, May 02 2002

       Good idea, but i have doubts over its usefulness in France/Germany/Most other European countries where the concept of queueing is alien to say the least.
HowardMarks, May 02 2002

       yet another pointless idea with an unexpected good idea thrown up randomly and probably unwittingly. Thanx wiml, from now on whenever I see a queue, its a big fat <<soft bong>> for me. Sorted. Ps. surprised you didn't spot that one , HowardMarks.pps. hey Lando45, piss off yourself. havn't you got anything better to do than sit around dissing people who havn't got anything better to do than sit around.....
briandamage, Sep 20 2002

       briandamage: please watch your language.
st3f, Oct 03 2002


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