New technology connects cities with real-time digital 'portals'
While travel is still heavily restricted, the cities of Vilnius, Lithuania, and Lublin, Poland, have become better connected through means of technology. New digital portals allow those in both cities to view a real-time glimpse into each other.
Developed by Portal, the two circular "doors" have been installed in both city centers. Near the main Vilnius train station, Portal's real-time look-in allows Vilnius residents to interact with people on the main square in Lublin, Poland — a city more than 370 miles away. The portal uses a large screen, cameras and a live feed, and the initiators definitely did not hold back on the futuristic design.
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The goal of the project is to encourage people to “rethink the meaning of unity," per the company's press release.
Benediktas Gylys, president of the Benediktas Gylys Foundation and credited with the initial idea, says that the portal symbolizes “a bridge that unifies and an invitation to rise above prejudices and disagreements that belong to the past.”
Vilnius Gediminas Technical University has been developing the portal for the past five years, and the delivery of the project lines up well with the pandemic and allowing people from other cultures to see each other at a time when most have remained at home. The team, together with the Benediktas Gylys Foundation and the Crossroads Centre for Intercultural Creative Initiatives, are planning to install portals in more cities in the future.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, the country has imposed a nationwide quarantine until June 30, 2021, and Americans are not allowed in, though there are some exceptions. U.S. nationals are also not permitted to lawfully enter Poland at this time, with a few exceptions.