Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Diddly-Beep Tune Checkout

Give the checkout people an incentive to go faster
  (+11, -2)(+11, -2)
(+11, -2)
  [vote for,

When something is scanned, a little 'beep' can be heard. This little beep, while dinky and cute, can get irritating, so why not change the beeps tone so that you can get little tunes? If you scan stuff quickly you could get a tune to something, such as 'Ode to Joy', and the tunes will differ so that you won't get tired of listening to 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' at Christmas time. Or perhaps have a little filler note so that you only have to scan once every other beep made by the machine, so that people don't hurry too much.
froglet, Aug 31 2006


       I can relate to the thought process behind this.   

       Having built a product scanning system that works much like a grocery checkout lane, I can tell you that the other sounds get even more annoying and tedious than the "boop, boop, boop...". I had it set up to make a "cha-ching" cash register sound with each scan. Lets just say that everyone involved was glad that I made the sound configurable and provided the option of a couple of standard "beep" sounds.   

       An operational downside to the proposal is that the tones are designed to convey success or failure and a varying feedback tone would make it difficult for the cashier to identify what was happening. It would require a conscious mental processing to determine pass/fail status of the scan.   

       Having said all of that, I do like an aspect of this. It might be possible to keep a consistent base note for a successful scan (one that is significantly different from a failure tone) while adding a level of dissonance that varys according to the pace of the work flow. On pace => a nice pleasant tone. Off pace => pleasant tone with unpleasant harmonics.   

       It could even be effective to slightly alter the frequency of the feedback tones according to pace vs. ideal pace comparison.   

       "Boop" (Sound of croissant being scanned)
half, Aug 31 2006

       Ooh, annoying beep-beep sounds! Our survey says..."Uh-uhhhh!"
DrBob, Aug 31 2006

       Every now and then a small obscenity could leak out... folk would tut tut/look at each other/stare at the ground in disgust.   

       I like the whole idea of it making music, but I also equally like the possibilities afforded by it being able to make comments "Not MORE sweet stuff - do you never learn?"   

       //It might be possible to keep a consistent base note for a successful scan// [half] - this makes me think of the constant drone of a set of bag pipes, with each subsequent scan being a note from a punishingly irritating hornpipe.   

       A most excellent idea - as good as I have seen in a while. Whistles happy Bakery anthem, juggles with croissants ++++++++++++++++++++++++ +
xenzag, Aug 31 2006

       I'm glad you're pleased, [xenzag].   

froglet, Aug 31 2006

       "the constant drone of a set of bag pipes"
I would never advocate something so crueal as that. However, playing bagpipedly annoying sound when the pace slows down might be effective, even if only short duration as these confirmation tones would be.

       The "99 Cent Only" chain of stores plays annoying sounds as scan confirm/error tones. I've found the exact same wave files on the net and was using the same "Uh-oh" wave file in my system before I heard it at their stores.   

       As something tolerable to listen to all day, a nice C or D note seem to work out well. The difference between them is easily discernable for two scanning stations immediately next to one another.   

       As an aside, I once saw a program about casinos in which they explained that the gaming sounds were in the key of C.
half, Aug 31 2006

       Maybe as you scan in a smoother rhythm, the beeps start to make delightful little undertoning rhythms in synch with the scanning. And out of these the actual songs would develop. (I like to scan in rhythm, beep beep beep beep.)
daseva, Sep 01 2006

       Ohh, with relation to [half]'s interpretation, the natural frequency of the scanners could be adjusted to the customer flux at the doors. Ohh, I can't bun this enough! Quick, someone who usually dosen't vote, throw a bun!
daseva, Sep 01 2006


       Perhaps sound effects for each individual item.   

       Frozen chickens could go 'cluck-cluck'.   

       Booze could go 'glug-glug'.   

       Cigarettes could produce coughing noises.   

       Rice Crispies...condoms....toilet paper......
monojohnny, Sep 01 2006

       I love the idea but... there is always that one piece of cheese that just won't scan.
Or the open package of slightly frozen peas that just flung out all over the counter in a big squishy mess.
Or the that last item that the customer forgot, doesn't really know what it's called but she was sure she got it there about three years ago.
Or the jerk that insists that despite all rules of logic (ie- tires in a grocery store) she is sure that she it got there.
Or the asshole who just won't give up on the idea that we don't, never have, and never will sell tires in a grocery store.

       So to keep a rhythm going might be a tad difficult but I know I would try over and over to get a kicking beat going in the hopes the whole store would break out in a huge musical production number for once in my life. +
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Sep 01 2006

       To give an incentive for speed, perhaps wire the scanner to a vibrator or tickler connected to the cashier's privates in a subtle way.
phundug, Sep 01 2006

       But you'd find them scanning the same item over and over, the ticker tape showing you owe thousands for a single can of dog food.
ldischler, Sep 01 2006

       "What's that bright orange extension cord doing coming out of your pants connected to the register and what's that big square bulge in the crotch of your pants?"   

       "Oh, that. It's a vibrator connected to my privates in a subtle way- the beta 1.2 version."
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Sep 01 2006


       Is this some new word that I haven't heard about? (such as, I dunno, maybe money that grows on trees?)
froglet, Sep 04 2006

       dDl_dap dll_dap dE_dng doo doo clap clap clap …   

       What good is a symphony if no one hears it? This seems like a great way to cement your reputation as wizard of the aisles.
reensure, Sep 05 2006

       It's the effect 12 beers has on "economy."
Cuit_au_Four, Sep 05 2006


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