WirelessCameoOne

Many years ago, when I lived in Ediburgh, one of my excellent flatmates at the time decided that it would be a good idea to wire up the bathroom and toilet for sound 1. We used to call this "Cameo One". It was excellent in many ways. You could listen to chilled out music in the morning while relaxing in the bath, you could listen to headbanging music while cleaning the bath, and my flatmates could put on the greatest hits of Stock, Aitken and Waterman 2 when they got irritated with me relaxing in the bath and blocking use of the toilet.

The other big advantage that it had was when watching a video, because you could go to the loo, go about your business, while still listening to the film soundtrack which we could pipe through to the toilet. This experience has remained with me, because it seemed like such a GoodIdea 3.

We called this "Cameo One" in partial homage to the local Cinema, called the Cameo, which did the same thing with it's main screen—called Cameo One. This worked brilliantly when you were actually in Cameo One, but when in one of the other screens, it was somewhat imperfect.

Nowadays, of course, we all go to large multiplexes. These are a great thing in almost every way. Now there is so much variety and choice

4.; you can get quite unfeasibly large boxes of popcorn; and the concrete and steel infrastructure helps to block out mobile phone signals.

However, the large size of multiplexes mean that the toilets are often a significant distance away and you can miss half the second reel while coping with the effects of the three pints you had before getting to the film. Now, though, with the brilliance of wireless technologies, we can bring back the magic of Cameo One.

Essentially, it works like this. First, you place a wireless network up throughout the cinema 5. Then, at the door to each screen, you put headphones with a 20 or so wireless headphones 6. These would be keyed to the soundtrack of the screen in question. You could now listen to the film all the way to the convieniences.

Taken to the logic extremes, you could even add glasses which piped in images as well. This might have negative implications for the sanitory conditions of the mens toilets, however, so perhaps it might not be the best idea. Maybe some sort of half-silvered mirror device, or perhaps you could overlay some sort of head up display showing the urinal in vector graphics.

There would, of course, be the worry that people would try and nick the headphones, but I don't think this is too much of a problem. You could add alarms to the main doors easily. The headphones should be easy to detect.


1. I should point out at this juncture that by this I am refering to speakers not microphones!

2. For those not aware of the SAW opus, think of Brittany Spears singing Ag-a-doo-doo-doo and you are not far off the mark.

3. The wiring which enabled us to achieve this was, however, a disaster and a patent fire risk. This is not a particularly good thing in an Edinburgh tenament block. Please don't try this at home.

4. "Would you like to watch the latest Hollywood remake of a 70's sitcom, at 18:00, 18:30, 19:00, or 19:30?"

5. Which would have the pleasent side effect that you could check your email during the film. Wouldn't that be great?

6. When I initially thought of this, my idea was to have a TCP/IP based solution, but actually bluetooth might work just as well, and the headphones would be a lot cheaper. I'm not sure what the range of bluetooth is though.


Updated: 10-03-17
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