August 30, 2005

SPY SHOT: Panasonic Field Tests Restaurant Behavior Management System


Right after getting it, I put it my new phonecam to good use when I surreptitiously snapped a picture of this Restaurant Behavior Management (RBM) system being field-tested at the Vietnamese restaurant near our house in DC.

Apparently, it's designed to keep toddlers subdued while their parents eat a normal meal. It accomplishes this via dual audio/visual sensory projection [note the headphones and a screen-like device]. The taller tester [R] had the short one [L] pick from a stack of black boxes, each containing an identically sized iridescent disc. The chosen disc [I heard them calling it a "lan-king" or something] was then inserted into the RBM; when it was activated, the subject was rendered completely inert throughout the meal.

I looked around to see if any product like this had been released on the market, but I came up empty. I did find this Panasonic LS55 portable DVD player with a 7-inch screen. It's sweet, has long battery life and got great reviews, but I'm sure that no one would ever jack his kid into a DVD player and ignore him completely when they went out to eat, right?

I'll keep researching this revolutionary new product and let you know.


Hmmm.. I wonder if they're developing educational Baby Einstein games for the Sony PSP. :)

- Kirk.

Oh, for freak's sake - people like this make me crazy!! I know I know, everyone has the right to raise their kids any way they like, maybe the kid is learning french, maybe the kid has severe ADHD and this is the only way they parents can get a break, etc. etc, etc.
BUT SERIOUSLY, maybe if these parents took the time to actually pay attention to their kids by involving them in the meal and teaching them proper restaurant behavior, they wouldn't have to plug the kid in just to have a meal. (Obvious and redundant comment, but I just can't stop myself!)

It's terrible, but when I see people parenting like this, it makes me all self-righteous (not a pretty sight). You have kids because you are willing to raise them to be good humans, NOT because they're a cute accessory to you and your husband's Escalade. GRRRRRRR.


I spotted one of these things the other day, and really had to fight off the urge to step on the thing (the fake laptop that is, not the kids, perhaps the parents, though).

Sure, I'd kill for some quiet time while eating, but we had a baby, so that's the end of that.


We are raising our kids to behave around the table at meal time. Flash cards, coloring books, Sunday NYT crossword puzzle, Harper's, all sorts of things to keep the little one occupied - and interactive - while eating on the town. LOL.

Is anyone here actually surprised by this next step towards the eventual complete and utter psychological domination our children are destined to suffer at the hands of Disney?

If someone's kids are consumed by media at home, they should'nt be all self-righteous about the fact that someone else's kids just happen to be more advanced in the same degenerative process.

[whatever helps you sleep at night, JD. My kid barely watches enough Wiggles for us to cut her fingernails. In the mean time, I'll be at the next table, judging. -ed.]

We cut the TV cord at home a long time ago (long before the little man showed up on the scene). There's no complete and total media domination at our house. If I have the willpower to go a whole day without plugging my kid in at home (and trust me, some days the Wiggles videos are OH SO tempting), I would hope other parents could at least go the duration of a meal without whipping out the "Lan-King."

We have the evil car dvd system - which i refuse to use, but lots of the other mommies love it.

Saturday night we were out at dinner with friends, 4 adults, 3 kids from 7 months to 11 years, and it was great. Everyone was well-behaved, including our infant. On our way out we passed a couple with an infant and an older child, maybe 4-6 years old, and he was plugged in to a portable DVD player. All the adults in our group thought it was ridiculous.

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