Portal Screens Installed in Vilnius and Lublin Let Residents See Each Other in Real Time

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, installed a large screen near its train station showing a live broadcast from Lublin, Poland, that has a similar screen installed at the city’s central square. Now residents of two cities located at a distance of 600 kilometers can see each other in real time. The large circular screens, equipped with cameras, resemble portals from science fiction films.

Benediktas Gylys, the initiator of the Portal idea, says that humanity’s deadly challenges are caused not by a lack of knowledge or technology. “It’s tribalism, a lack of empathy and a narrow perception of the world, which is often limited to our national borders,” he says. The Portal project aims to unite people of different cultures, set aside prejudices and disagreements that belong to the past, and “rethink the meaning of unity.”

The screen was designed by engineers at the Creativity and Innovation Centre at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. It was five years in the making. The circle design is not only a well-known sci-fi symbol but is also meant to evoke the wheel of time. There are plans to add portals in other cities in the future, organizers say.

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