Virgin Media O2 creates Connected Playground powered by 5G and broadband

5G, Broadband, News
Matt Crossick/PA Wire
  • Virgin Media O2  creates ‘The Connected Playground’, combining traditional play with next-generation connectivity 
  • The playground challenges children to create their own musical track by interacting with swings, slides and climbing frames – all powered by Virgin Media O2’s gigabit broadband and 5G mobile networks 
  • It comes as new research reveals that seven in 10 British parents believe that children should have more exposure to playgrounds modernised with technology
  • As part of the experience, Virgin Media O2 has partnered with leading Child Psychologist Dr Sam Wass (Secret life of a three and a four-year-old) and Gareth Malone (The Choir) 

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

Combining traditional play with connectivity, ‘The Connected Playground’ was inspired by new research into parents’ opinions on how their children play and the role of technology in children’s development.

The research shows that nearly two-thirds (64%) of British parents are concerned that their children aren’t getting enough stimulation through outdoor play. Seven in 10 (68%) believe that their kids should have more exposure to playgrounds modernised with technology. 

To make this a reality, Virgin Media O2 has temporarily taken over a playground at Kings Square Gardens in Islington, London, to create an enhanced outdoor play experience that promotes creativity and smart play through technology.

The playground apparatus, including swings, slides and climbing frames, has been modified with sensors, pressure pads and infrared beams to create an interactive environment which reacts in real-time to a child’s movement, enabling them to create their very own musical masterpiece as they make their way around the playground.

Each interaction with the playground equipment influences the pitch and tempo, adding another layer of sound to build a piece of music which can be heard through speakers throughout the play area. Once the child has completed the course, their unique music track can be downloaded to take home and listen back to.

As part of the experience, Virgin Media O2 teamed up with Dallington Primary School to offer the pupils (aged six to nine) the opportunity to unlock their creativity and take part in the musical playtime challenge.

Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Says Dr Sam Wass, child psychologist and expert on Channel 4’s Secret Life of 4 and 5 Year Olds:

“The scientific evidence is overwhelming now that spending time outdoors has 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 constantly evolve.

“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.”

Adds Gareth Lister, Director of Connectivity at Virgin Media O2:

“Great connectivity has never been so integral to everyday life. From play to education, and everything in between, it sits at the heart of all that we do. Using our hyperfast gigabit broadband and 5G mobile networks, we created The Connected Playground to bring to life the boundless possibilities of connectivity.”

Virgin Media O2’s Connected Playground at King Square Gardens is open to the public from Thursday 9th to Friday 10th March. For more information and to book a slot, go to


Chris Price
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