Virgin Media O2 uses apparition of Usain Bolt to flog broadband

More end of year larks saw VMO2 launch a promotion for its gigabit broadband by projecting Bolt’s hologram into someone’s front room.

Andrew Wooden

December 16, 2021

2 Min Read
Usain Bolt Virgin Media
Usain Bolt challenged a mega-fan, Alexander Jianroran, to a gaming experience with a twist to celebrate Virgin Media completing the rollout of gigabit broadband to their entire network of more than 15.5 million homes, Usain appeared in hologram form as the two went head-to-head

More end of year larks saw VMO2 launch a promotion for its gigabit broadband by projecting Bolt’s hologram into someone’s front room.

The video depicts the ‘living room of the future’, in which world-renowned sprinter Usain Bolt appears virtually in a ‘megafan’s’ house in order to play him at Fifa.

What follows is less ‘the living room of the future’ and more of ‘an awkward interaction with a celebrity athlete of the present’, who was apparently being projected via 4k hologram technology, but looked as though he’d just been sent to sit in a glass box in the corner.

It’s harmless gloss over a bit of promotional speculation on how faster internet speeds might make online gaming more interactive in the future, and how the firm is now providing 15.5 million homes with gigabit speeds. The implication being one day you’ll be able to have your mate appear in hologram form on the sofa, if you’d like that to happen. The life sized 4k hologram projector would seem to be the larger barrier to entry than internet bandwidth, but anyway.

“This incredible hologram technology, brought to life by the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, shows just how far we have come in how we can engage, communicate and socialise in a virtual world,” said Jeanie York, CTO at VMO2. “Our gigabit broadband speeds can power the British homes of today and the future which will continue to consume more cutting-edge technology over the coming years as we find new and innovative ways to stay connected to the people that mean the most.”

Usain Bolt added, in a statement that definitely wasn’t written by a VMO2 PR: “When it comes to speed, I know how important it is to be on top form and Virgin Media’s hyperfast gigabit broadband is almost – almost – as fast as me. I had a great time virtually meeting and gaming with my megafan, Alex, and It’s exciting to see how gigabit broadband makes futuristic tech like holograms possible.”

So what else does the super advanced living room have to offer? Erm, a laser TV projector and a remote-controlled pop-out drawer for starters.

This is all loosely tied together by a survey that claims 60 percent of Brits cite gaming as their new favourite way of communicating. It also claims 40 percent would prefer to play against friends via hologram than in person. Kids today, eh?

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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