Designing the acoustics of auditoria is big business…partly because it’s so difficult to get right. One problem is that audience size affects the way a performance sounds. A half-empty theatre makes an event sound very different from one which is taking place in a packed house.
Today’s invention attempts to reduce this disparity.
Seats each contain a cushion which is designed to have the acoustic properties of a person. When no-one is sitting there, the cushion is in the ‘up’ position, as shown on the left.
When someone sits down, they push this cushion down, as in a normal sprung seat, and sit on the back of the ‘mannequin’.
In this way, the acoustic properties remain roughly constant, irrespective of the numbers in the audience.