Taylor lives in New York. Veronica lives in California. They both work at the Beam Store in Palo Alto. Neither had a date for Valentine's Day and both were free. But how would they meet living so far away? They decided to do a trial run date using the Beam Pro, a smart presence system, to see if there was chemistry first. On Friday, the 13th, Veronica drove to the Beam Store on 425 University Ave. It took her an hour and 15 minutes to drive and park there. It only took him three seconds to meet her.
When Veronica arrived, a familiar face greeted her; there was Taylor, front and center, projected onto his 17” monitor of his Beam Pro. At 5’2”, his presence was not so intimidating. This was the closest they've ever been to meeting in person. It took Veronica a few minutes to adjust seeing a Beam in person for the first time. It took Taylor a few seconds to check out Veronica’s fully body.
After some formalities, they walked across the street to the local ice cream sandwich shop, Cream. They were constantly gawked at as people asked questions and snapped pictures while waiting in line.
What is this? (A Beam Pro)
Is he real? (I sure hope so...)
Can you make out? (Ummm no...this is our first date.)
What's going on? (We're on a pre-Valentine's date.)
What's your company called? (Suitable Technologies)
How much are these? (The home device is called Beam+ is $1,995, the Beam Pro is closer to $20,000 but has leasing options.)
Where can I get one? (Online at suitabletech.com)
How does this all work? (Taylor is in New York controlling the device using the arrow keys on his computer. The device runs using our software connected to wifi or in this case a 4G card.)
All this interference left zero time to have quality date conversations. While some people were delighted to see such a new type of technology, others had less enthusiastic reactions—judgments, pessimism, and sour attitudes. Those judging perceptions quickly dissipated when Veronica would proudly say, "He's my Valentine's date! This is Taylor. He lives in New York.” Maybe because there was a person in human form taking great offense to people's judgments and rude commentary, but, people quickly changed their perceptions and accepted the couple’s interactions. Most found it cute and asked to snap pictures.
After some time in line, Veronica ordered cookie dough ice cream with snickerdoodle cookies. The worker politely asked Taylor if he wanted anything but declined. Being the gentleman he is, he paid for the date. After talking to a few more people, they headed back to the Beam Store. Waiting for them was an older gentleman who said to Veronica, "You're gorgeous! Why don't you date a real man?!" Naturally, Taylor was highly offended as he chased the man towards the door as Veronica tried to hold him back while screaming, "He is a real man!" To prove it, she shared some of her cookie with Taylor before calling it a night.
Taylor and Veronica both agreed it was actually one of the best dates they had been on in a while and made plans for a real one the following day. It took Veronica an hour and three minutes to drive back home. It took Taylor 1.3 seconds to get offline and back to his East Coast life. (To be continued...)