Virgin Media O2 Launches Connected Playground Experience for Children
Virgin Media O2 has launched a connected playground experience for children that utilizes its gigabit broadband network and 5G mobile network to power lights, sound, and interactive equipment. The Connected Playground is a hybrid of traditional play and technology, born out of research into parents’ perceptions of their children’s play habits and the role technology plays in their development.
Unique Outdoor Experience
Following the results of this research, Virgin Media O2 took over Kings Square Gardens in Islington to create an outdoor play experience that encourages creativity, smart play, and technology. The playground apparatus has been upgraded with sensors and pressure pads to make it interactive, including climbing frames, swings, slides, and climbing frames.
Every interaction with the playground equipment changes the pitch and tempo of a piece that can be heard through speakers dotted throughout the play area. Once children complete their course, their music track can be downloaded so they can take it home and listen again later on.
Virgin Media O2 and Dallington Primary have joined forces to give children aged six to nine the opportunity to express their creativity through a musical playtime challenge.
Encouraging Children to Embrace Technology in Outdoor Settings
Dr. Sam Wass, child psychologist and expert on Channel 4’s Secret Life of 4 & 5-Year-Olds, stressed the scientific evidence supporting outdoor play as beneficial for children’s mood and concentration. However, as parents, it can be challenging to encourage kids to embrace digital play because children’s expectations and experiences are constantly shifting. Wass claimed: “New hybrid environments, such as Virgin Media O2’s Connected Playground, 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.”
Gareth Malone, parent and star of The Choir, noted that his children live in a world connected to gadgets and gizmos. “It’s the world they’ve grown up with.” Therefore, it’s essential for young people to get outdoors and play with enthusiasm that matches what they enjoy doing. “Virgin Media O2’s Connected Playground is a great example of that. 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.”
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Sources: Telecom TV