Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Restaurant Volume Knob

Adjustable ambiance dining
  [vote for,

Humans are social animals, and moods are often influenced by the percieved behavior of our neighbors. One example of a technology taking advantage of this is the laugh track, recorded laughter played at key moments in television shows that encourage laughter and enjoyment in the viewer.

Restaurants seem most enjoyable when there is lively conversation (but not too lively) and laughter (but not too much laughter) from other tables. This can set the mood for your party, and stimulate similar behavior.

I propose a system composed of two parts. The first part is a simple sound system that plays back canned conversation and laughter. The number of voices can be added or removed until a comfortable level is reached. The second part is sound baffles that drop down from the ceiling. This feature is also adjustable, and is to be used once the sound system has been turned off and the social chatter is still too loud to provide a comfortable atmosphere.

The level can be set by the management, or pre-programmed for optimum enjoyment based on focus group studies.

Worldgineer, Dec 02 2004

Inspired here Restaurant 4'33
[Worldgineer, Dec 02 2004]


       "Baby . . . thanks for coming out tonight. I told you we had to have a talk. Listen, I'm sorry, but I'm breaking up with you."   

       "What?! You jerk!" <sob>   

       (laughter plays loudly over the intercom) [+-]
contracts, Dec 02 2004

       You're missing a feature here. You can have themed restaurants. Some will be loud and cheerful, others quiet and somber. Currently you have to take your chances with atmosphere - now you can go to a restaurant that matches your mood.   

       Relationship problems? Be very afraid of a meal at Max's Sad House.
Worldgineer, Dec 02 2004

       You're right; I didn't pick up on the fact that this would be capable of expressing various moods. I'm not sure what a sob-track would sound like, though. Probably lots of violins.
contracts, Dec 02 2004

       With computers and custom surround sound systems, I'd like the option to program the ambiance at my table.   

       "Let's see.......10% business dinner conversation, 40% couples in love, 2% small children, 30% World Beat music, and the balance random samples. Ok, I think I'm ready to order...."
normzone, Dec 02 2004

       Seeing as I am a sad git with no friends, how about an interactive DVD to give me the impression of dining with witty company surrounded by the babble and laughter of equally high brow conversation as I sit alone in my cold dark living room consuming cheap pizza and special brew.
Belfry, Dec 03 2004

       I'll be your friend, [Belfry], and babble in a highbrow manner, if you'll share that special brew....
normzone, Dec 03 2004

       <camera zooms in to [Worldgineer]> I like your customized version, [norm]. I also like [bel]'s DVD - that's worthy of a whole seperate idea. <Press 1 for a witty reply, 2 to throw a drink at [norm], 3 to start talking to the blonde to your left>
Worldgineer, Dec 03 2004

       Heh! [+]
skinflaps, Dec 06 2004

       Special brew, cider and cheap fortified wine all round is it?
Belfry, Dec 06 2004

       [+] but just for the baffles. I've often wished for the restaurant cone-of-silence, but I assume Maxwell Smart still hasn't worked the bugs out.   

       As for more noise, I believe that's quite baked, with differently themed restaurants having not just more background noises, but also having chosen acoustically reflecting (mirrors, hardwood) or absorbing (curtains, carpets) materials. If you're looking for a personal dial, just have a drink or few.
sophocles, Dec 06 2004

       You're talking about a static acoustic design. The whole point of this idea is to have dynamic control over the environment. Reflective hardwoods may work mildly well on a slow night, but will make conversation difficult when the place is packed.
Worldgineer, Dec 06 2004


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