World-first hologram dining experience opens

Two Hearts Pizzeria | Hillingdon Today
The world’s first hologram dining experience - The Two Hearts Pizzeria / VirginMedia

After more than a year navigating pandemic restrictions, the world’s first hologram dining experience is uniting loved ones today in central London and Edinburgh.

Virgin Media’s ‘Two Hearts Pizzeria’ will be connecting diners located at opposite ends of the UK with a real-time holographic dining experience. The pioneering technology, which involves the projection of life-size 4K holograms, means loved ones separated by the pandemic will be able to see, hear and interact with each other in real-time, as though they were sat together at the same table, without having to stare at a screen.

While the first-of-its-kind dining experience is physically split in two – with half of the futuristic pizzeria located on the Southbank, London and the other on Castle Street, Edinburgh – diners will feel closer than ever, despite being 400 miles apart, as a live hologram of their loved one seamlessly appears opposite them. The cutting-edge technology is powered by Virgin Media’s gigabit network, and makes it feel like diners are together in-person.

And it seems the Two Hearts Pizzeria offers a glimpse of the not-so-distant future. Futurologist and tech forecaster, Dr James Bellini, has predicted that hologram technology will become commonplace in homes by 2030: “Advancements in technology and lightning-speed broadband mean that pioneering forms of connectivity, such as holograms, are now viable options for when we want to feel closer to those we’re not physically able to be with. With technology moving as quickly as it is now, it wouldn’t be strange for holograms to be commonplace in UK households by the turn of the decade.”

Jeff Dodds, form Virgin Media, said: “The past year has been a rollercoaster and the support of our loved ones has been more important than ever, be that in real life or virtually.

“The pandemic has accelerated the need to stay connected online and has created an opportunity to revolutionise the way we use technology, with many permanently changing their habits and behaviours as a result.

“The real-time holographic technology demonstrated at the Two Hearts Pizzeria is the natural evolution of the video call, and thanks to our gigabit network, we’re serving up a slice of the future.”

The Two Hearts Pizzeria will connect more than 30 loved ones over the course of two days, offering sittings to pre-booked diners only in a COVID-safe space, reuniting separated loved ones with a digital dining experience like no other.