Virgin Media has utilised its gigabit broadband network to enable people to go on pizza dinner dates with holographic versions of loved ones. Get the full details here!

The world’s first real life hologram restaurant opened briefly in the UK last week. On the 15th & 16th April in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, to be exact. Virgin Media’s “Two Hearts Pizzeria” futuristically connected diners situated over 400 miles apart. Two restaurants opened in London and Edinburgh, playing host to real-time 4k holograms of distant diners.

This cutting edge technology meant that those separated by rules around the pandemic could interact with one another without being glued to a screen. Working from home, along with social distancing rules, has meant that video conferencing has become a more normal aspect of our working and social lives. The experience can be improved by having great lighting for video calls, or by investing in new home office gear.

However, any way you slice it, you’re still going to be staring at a screen. This limits the amount of connection we feel as human beings towards those we are contacting. A webcam frame may cut out crucial body language and physical expression. Jittery connections could mean we miss small head movements or vocal nuances.

Super speedy gigabit internet connection, provided by Virgin Media, means that life-sized, 3D holograms of loved ones can be seamlessly transmitted. Creating a more realistic social experience, this could play a huge part in connecting those in long-distance relationships.

The experience, provided by Audience, further plays on Virgin’s latest marketing angle of “faster brings us closer together”. Participants were found earlier in the year via a competition. Couples living in the Scottish and English capitals were surprised with the opportunity to dine together without travelling hundreds of miles.

It has been predicted that holographic technology will be more accessible as soon as 2030. Futurologist and tech forecaster (awesome job title, right?), Dr James Bellini, has stated that “it wouldn’t be strange for holograms to be commonplace in UK households by the turn of the decade”. Hopefully social distancing measures will relax, and we will be able to physically meet with loved ones again soon. But, it’s exciting and sort of comforting to know that we could be better connected with one another even if geographically we are far apart.