Explore the world’s first Connected Playground from Virgin Media O2

Virgin Media O2
Virgin Media O2
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
10 March 2023

Virgin Media O2 is offering a glimpse into the future of children’s play with a brand-new connected playground experience with lights, sound and interactive equipment powered entirely by its gigabit broadband and 5G mobile networks.

Inspired by research into parents’ views on how children play and the role of technology in children’s development, The Connected Playground combines traditional play with elements of connectivity. This meets parents’ concerns that kids aren’t getting enough stimulation from outdoor play, seven in 10 parents believing their children should have more exposure to playgrounds modernised with technology.

Virgin Media O2 has temporarily taken over a playground at Kings Square Gardens in Islington to create an enhanced outdoor play experience. It promotes creativity and smart play through technology.

The swings, slides, climbing frames and other playground equipment has all been modified with sensors, pressure pads and infrared beams to create an interactive environment that reacts to a child’s movement, enabling them to create their own musical masterpiece as they make their way around the playground. Kids’ interactions with the playground impact the pitch and tempo, adding another layer of sound to build a piece of music that can be heard through speakers throughout the play area. Plus, once they’ve completed the course their unique music track can be downloaded to take home and listen to.

Dr Sam Wass, child psychologist and expert on Channel 4’s Secret Life of 4 and 5 Year Olds, said: “The scientific evidence is overwhelming now that spending time outdoors has both immediate and long-term benefits for children’s concentration and mood. But encouraging this as a parent can be hard, because children’s expectations and what they get from digital play are constantly evolving. 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.”

As part of the experience, Virgin Media O2 teamed up with Dallington Primary School to offer kids the opportunity to take part in a musical playtime challenge.

Visit Virgin Media O2 to find out more.