Despite the internet and social media, the world can often seem more disconnected than ever. People seem divided on almost every issue, big or small. Having not been able to leave our homes, much less travel over the last year and a half, that disconnect is even more prominent. To help bridge that gap, Lithuania and Poland built a portal that gives residents of two of their cities into the lives of people hundreds of kilometers away. (1)
The Portal Between Lithuania And Poland
The city of Vilnius, Lithuania knew that its citizens were tired of the monotonous pandemic life over the last year. To help with this problem, they teamed up with the city of Lublin, Poland, to build a portal to connect them both. This is a real-time window into the goings-on in each city, which are 600km apart. Near the Vilnius train station, they have built a circular window-looking apparatus that is actually a screen connected to the same equipment in Lublin. Each portal has a camera that broadcasts live images from them into the other city. (2)
“Humanity is facing many potentially deadly challenges; be it social polarization, climate change, or economic issues. However, if we look closely, it’s not a lack of brilliant scientists, activists, leaders, knowledge, or technology causing these challenges. It’s tribalism, a lack of empathy and a narrow perception of the world, which is often limited to our national borders,” said Benediktas Gylys, President of the Benediktas Gylys Foundation.“[this project is] a bridge that unifies and an invitation to rise above prejudices and disagreements that belong to the past” (1)
They designed the portal in the shape of a circle to mimic the wheel of time. Engineers from LinkMenų fabrikas at Vilnius Tech University spent five years working on the project. They plan on designing more portals to connect more cities across Europe in the future. (2) Portals between Vilnius and London and Vilnius and Reykjavik are slated to be coming soon.
“From design and 3D modelling, to digital content development and logistic challenges – a project like this requires a broad and multifunctional team,” said Adas Meskenas, director of LinkMenu fabrikas. “Meaningful projects like this one are born when diverse people succeed in working together and achieving synchronicity.” (1)
If you live in Europe, then perhaps a portal connecting your city to one that is hundreds, or even thousands, of kilometers away might be in your future. For more information, you can check out their website, Portal Cities.