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Beam My Valentine

Part 2 of the World's First Smart Presence Date


Since Taylor and Veronica’s pre-Valentine’s date turned out better than expected, it made it difficult for either of them to sleep. Perhaps it was due to their palpable chemistry or maybe it was the pressure of the date itself. Whatever the cause, they tossed and turned over their official first smart presence date on Valentine’s Day.

They decided to go out to Umami Burger where Taylor had a table and reservation all set up.

In the morning, Veronica texted Taylor to ask him to please wait and eat lunch with her so she wouldn’t have to eat alone during their lunch date. Being the gentleman he is, he promised he would despite that he’d be eating at 4:30 PM New York time.

Veronica got ready as quickly as she could before driving an hour and twenty minutes to Palo Alto. She had to text him she would be late and mused to herself over the convenience of Beaming instead of driving. Taylor was on time (of course) looking as suave as ever and patiently waiting for her when she arrived. They blushed when they made eye contact.

As they strolled in the sunshine to the burger joint across the street, strangers began to look and stop them to ask questions. Veronica felt uneasy with everyone staring at her and her date. She was worried that people might think she was a bit crazy. She observed and explained to Taylor that no one probably thought that he was the crazy one. Feeling vulnerable, Veronica confessed that she wished she could hold Taylor’s “hand.” He gladly offered her to hold on to one of the poles that held up his screen as they crossed the street.

 

Immediately, they were seated at a table out on the patio that consisted of three other tables. They sat at a nice corner spot where they hoped to have some privacy, but sadly this wasn’t the case. Seeing a Beam out in public is like seeing a celebrity on the streets. Downtown Palo Alto was buzzing with lovers and families passing on the sidewalk, but they quickly turned into paparazzi. Taylor and Veronica were trying to have a nice, romantic date; however, they were bombarded with requests to take pictures and videos. Everyone wanted pictures of them looking at each other, hugging, and to act like lovers in a modern day fairytale.

Their waitress brought over one menu and one glass of water. Taylor was jokingly offended and complained. The manager greeted the couple and gave them recommendations since it was their first time there. Veronica ordered a ginger beer, the Manly burger, and truffle fries. The waitress did ask Taylor this time if he wanted anything, but he understandably and politely declined.

     
   

Like any typical first date, Taylor asked the standard first date questions:

Where is your favorite place to travel? (She said Italy. He said Australia.)

What schools did you attend and what was your major? (She said communications and business. He said marketing.)

What are your hobbies? What sports do you play? (She has over 20—yoga, snowboarding, photography, traveling, basketball, singing, and knitting…. He once tried to play the trumpet, but he plays baseball, basketball, and video games.)

What’s your favorite food? Foods you don’t like? (She loves soups and hates squid and eggplant. He loves lobster and hates cheese.)

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? (She said move to Japan not knowing anyone or the language to teach English. He said skydiving.)

 

While waiting for the food, Veronica brought out the Valentine’s card she made for Taylor, which was another reason why she was late for their date. On the cover it said, “Beam My Valentine.” Taylor laughed and told her she was the cutest thing ever and that he loved it. He apologized for not having flowers for her. Soon enough, the food came out and so Taylor disappeared for a minute to grab his steak and potatoes lunch from the kitchen. They tried their best to eat in front of each other, but both were more self-conscious than usual. One could tell they were both nervous, as this was the first date either one of them went on in months. They laughed and had a great time despite the interruptions and nervousness.

   

Although they could have talked for a couple more hours, Veronica had to drive back home in order to Beam to work. While Veronica was away, Taylor did the gentlemanly thing and paid the bill.

 

Holding his “hand” tightly, they headed back to the store. With a little role reversal, she protected him as they crossed the street. Taylor and Veronica admitted it was one of the best Valentine’s dates either of them had been on. Veronica felt as if Taylor was there and vice versa even though they couldn’t be affectionate if they wanted to. Regardless, it was still an unforgettable and amazing date. Veronica thanked him, gave him a hug goodbye, and went on her way. Taylor returned to his life.

Distance is one of the greatest inconveniences in the modern age, despite how connected we are due to technology. Thanks to Suitable Technologies, people from all over the world have the possibility to enjoy the simple things in life together by being present despite distance or disabilities. Servicemen can treat their children out for ice cream, a quadriplegic can peruse a museum with his wife, grandparents can have dinner with their grandchildren…the possibilities are endless. This technology allows people to be in two places at once and feel physically present there. Beam will be here to help lovers, friends, coworkers and fellow humans connect in a more immediate, human-like, authentic, and compassionate way than ever before.

It was the world’s first remote date, but it definitely won’t be the last.


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