Do you hate the sound of strangers slurping down grub, gasping for air as they cram half-pound slabs of hamburger into their maws? Does Muzak piping from tinny speakers at fast-food joints send shivers of contempt down your spine? Worry no longer—the era of privatized dining is here.
The geniuses at British restaurant chain Pizza Express plan on hanging soundproof domes above their booths, effectively shutting out the cruel, chatty world. To spice things up, they will also install iPod docks so you can listen to “Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood” at top volume without making children cry.
Pizza Express hired Sergio Luzzi, Professor and Lecturer in Noise Modeling and Acoustic Design at the University of Florence, to blueprint the bubbles of isolation, guaranteeing that you’ll never again have to hear the sounds of humanity while gobbling steaming mozzarella. This kind of snazzy shit almost feels wasted on a pizza chain.
Burger King tried something similar in Japan. They set up “musical showers” (sounds filthy!) with docks for your iPod and a clear, bowl-shaped speaker hanging above the table. The sound supposedly doesn’t bleed from one table to the next, but they don’t have space-age domes of anti-din, like Pizza Express does, so that seems improbable.
If you’re old (or a Nick at Nite junkie like me), you may remember something similar popping up in Get Smart.
The future is here—and it wants you to be all alone.