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Eight Cannes Lions for Glassworks' laughter app

Eight Cannes Lions for Glassworks' laughter app
Jake Bickerton
24 June 2014

The Cyranos McCann agency's Pay Per Laugh project, developed using technology from Glassworks, has picked up eight Cannes Lions awards. The project was used as an innovative way of generating revenue and interest in theatre productions in Spain, following a decrease in people visiting theatres over the last year.

The Pay Per Laugh project involved letting people visit a comedy show called Improshow in Barcelona's Aquitània Theatre on 10 April for free, with the proviso that they only paid for each time they laughed. This novel approach was made possible by use of iPads monitoring facial responses via a specially developed facial recognition app created by Glasswork's r&d division Xavi's lab.

iPads were installed on headrests in front of audience members and the app counted how many times each person laughed. A modest charge of €0.30 was made for each laugh, with the maximum price anyone would pay capped at €8, so they didn't need to worry about laughing too much.

For a full explanation and behind-the-scenes look at how the technology works, see the video below.

Pay per Laugh | The Cyranos McCann from The Cyranos McCann on Vimeo.

Pay Per Laugh won the following prizes at Cannes Lions:

D09 Live Events - Silver

B02 Use of Other Digital Platforms - Bronze

C01 Acquisitions - Bronze

D06 Travel, Entertainment & Leisure - Bronze

A07 Use of Special Events and Stunt/Live Advertising - Bronze

B03 Use of Mobile Devices - Bronze

A02 Augmented Mobile Experience - Gold

A06 Use of Customer in-Store Experience - Bronze

Glassworks' Xavi’s Lab, which created and implemented the app, was set up in 2011 and is based in Glassworks’ Barcelona facility. It's a Research & Development technologist division, taking on projects that fall outside traditional post production and digital services.

The Pay Per Laugh application can detect laughing, crying or any facial expression previously programmed. The software was developed with a simple FaceTracker and a facial expressions detector counts, lists and generates statistics of the amount of laughs detected. Each time it recognises a smile the iPad takes a picture and sends it to the pay per laugh server, creating and monitoring the statistics.

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