Tired of pandemic travel restrictions? Can't wait to go out and hug strangers too? How to blame you.
The city of Vilnius, Lithuania, has an interesting solution: a real-time “portal” open to another city. And when I say “portal”, I really mean “portal”: this really looks like something out of the movie Stargate.
The urban portal
The city of Vilnius installed the portal near its railway station. The device is connected in real time with the city of Lublin, Poland, about 600 kilometers (or if you're reading from abroad about 375 miles) away.
Each portal has large screens and cameras that transmit live images between the two cities (a sort of digital bridge, according to its creators) with the aim of encouraging people to "rethink the meaning of unity", we read from Press release of presentation of the installations.
Look who shows up again
“Humanity is facing many life-threatening challenges; social polarization, climate change, economic problems. It's not a lack of brilliant scientists, activists, leaders, knowledge or technologies that causes these problems,” he says Benediktas Gylys, president of the Foundation of the same name and promoter of the portal idea. “It is tribalism, a lack of empathy and a narrow perception of the world, often limited to our national borders.”
The portal is actually a bridge that unites. An invitation to overcome prejudices and disagreements that belong to the past. Maybe even a way to advise each other what to see in the various connected cities. A way to fuel tourism, the desire to visit monuments and historical places.
The circle design, intended to evoke the wheel of time, and a “well-known sci-fi symbol” (I said so!) was designed by engineers at the Center for Creativity and Innovation (LinkMenu fabrikas) of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, aka Vilnius Tech.
It took five years of work and its inauguration is a good sign these days.
“From 3D design and modeling, to digital content development and logistical challenges – a project like this requires a large, multifunctional team,” he says Adas Meskenas, director of LinkMenu fabrikas. “Significant projects like this portal arise when different people work well in synergy”