The Virgin Media O2 Connected Playground features musical swings and slides
Utilizing their 5G mobile network and gigabit broadband network to power on its lights, sound, and equipment, the Virgin Media O2 Connected Playground is a whimsical experience that all Londoners can enjoy. This idea originated from research on how parents view their kids’ play styles and the influence of technology on their growth. In a cross between new technology and traditional play, the Virgin Media O2 Connected Playground was born.
According to research, 64% of British parents are concerned that their kids were not getting enough outside stimulation. 68% of them believe that there should be more tech-enabled play areas for kids. Following the findings of this study, Virgin Media and Dallington Primary have collaborated to create an outdoor play environment at Islington’s Kings Square Gardens.
The entire Virgin Media O2 Connected Playground is interactive, from its swings and slides to its climbing frames. All of these are built with pressure pads and sensors, and sonically, it provides an experience like no other. Every time the playground equipment is interacted with, the pitch and tempo is altered and can be heard throughout the speakers. The music can then be downloaded as a memento.
Dr. Sam Wass, a child psychologist and contributor to Channel 4’s Hidden Lives of 4 & 5-Year-Olds, emphasized on the scientific research demonstrating the advantages of outdoor play for kids. Due to the continuous change of children’s expectations and experiences, it might be difficult for parents to persuade their children to embrace digital play. Dr. Sam Wass claims that within Virgin Media’s playground, new hybrid environments “may in future play a vital role in encouraging children to embrace technology in outdoor settings, and help provide children with the tools they need to think and play creatively.”
Parent and star of The Choir, Gareth Malone, stated that his children live in a world that’s connected to gizmos and gadgets. “It’s the world they’ve grown up with,” said Malone. “I think it’s vital to entice young people outside to engage with a style of play that excites them and that reflects their style of play. It uses technology, lighting, sounds and musical elements to provide a sense of achievement which all children strive for in play. I am intrigued to see what else can be done with future technologies and connectivity.”
Although the event has already ended, stay tuned with the Virgin Media O2 Connected Playground event website for all news and updates.