There are several different sorts of portal in the world. There’s the Facebook Portal, which is terrifying. There’s the Portal video game, which is amazing. There’s also the Stargate, which is the most Kurt Russel portal of all. And then there’s the PORTAL: a video wall connecting two European countries together in real-time.
Portal to somewhere else
The weird construction looks like it was ripped right from science fiction, only you can’t step through it and instantly travel to another city. That would be pretty awesome, though. Instead, this pair of devices connecting the cities of Lublin, Poland and Vilnius, Lithuania (which are just over 600km apart) is intended to “…serve as a visual bridge and new wave community accelerator that brings people of different cultures together and encourages them to rethink the meaning of unity.”
What it also does is let people on both sides of it look through and see what the other end is up to in real-time. Which is really cool in its own way. Its’ mechanics are obvious. There’s a camera capturing what goes on either side and send it to the other end in real-time, thanks to that lovely thing we call the internet.
The PORTAL’s creators are hoping to take this five-year project and expand it further, by connecting other cities all over the world. Benediktas Gylys, head of the Benediktas Gylys Foundation and the guy who came up with this idea, said, “Humanity is facing many potentially deadly challenges; be it social polarisation, 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.”
He continued, “That’s why we’ve decided to bring the PORTAL idea to life – it’s a bridge that unifies and an invitation to rise above prejudices and disagreements that belong to the past. It’s an invitation to rise above the us and them illusion.”