Tennessee tries 'laugh trackers' to rate top kids' destinations

Friday, May 31, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 22

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee tourism officials say they've counted kids' laughs to help parents weigh their trip options.

The Department of Tourist Development says it equipped more than 200 kids with wearable "Laugh Trackers" last month for over 450 hours.

The attractions they tried out included the Children's Museum of Memphis, Discovery Park of America in Union City, Nashville Zoo, Fall Creek Falls in Spencer, Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Hands On! Discovery Center in Gray and Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.

More than 36,000 laughs were recorded, an average of 1.3 per minute. The results and reviews are available on a "Kid Reviewed" website.

The sound-activated trackers connect to Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices and send recordings containing laughter to a secure server, paired with location and heart rate data. The children's identities stay anonymous.