With the pandemic hitting every sphere of life, widening social polarization can’t be ignored. Restrictions on travelling and the free movement of people from one city to another have fuelled social disconnect and extreme isolation. In a bid to help people from across cities stay connected, cities in Poland and Lithuania have resorted to technology. The city of Vilnius and Lublin have installed real-time, sci-fi portals that broadcast live images between two cities.
A futuristic-looking portal that seems to have come straight out of a sci-fi movie is a circular screen with cameras and an internet connection that allows people to see what is happening in the parallel location. According to engineers, they chose a circular design for the device as it is widely recognised as a sci-fi symbol for the visual ‘bridge‘. As it resembles the wheel of time, the device will help a person to travel and experience reality on the other side of this bridge. The creators have also given a minimal design and aesthetics to the device to make it a representation of a future city.
The devices installed next to Vilnius Train Station and Lublin’s central square, help the inhabitants of both the cities to contact in real-time.
Futuristinis „Portalas“ sujungė Vilnių 🇱🇹 ir Liubliną 🇵🇱.Vilniuje gimęs projektas Portalas–tai šiuolaikinis bendruomenės katalizatorius, kuriuo tikimasi skleisti vienybės žinutę, skatinti tarptautinę miestų ir valstybių draugystę, suburti bendruomenes pilietiškoms iniciatyvoms pic.twitter.com/vMUs5hECQS
— PL in Lithuania 🇵🇱 (@PLinLithuania) May 27, 2021
After five years of brainstorming, the project became reality and a portal at Vilnius Train Station Square was installed on 26 May.
The project was designed and built by engineers from the LinkMenų fabrikas center at Vilnius Tech. According to its organisers, the futuristic device is supposed to serve as a visual bridge that unifies people of different cultures together and aims to promote global collaboration and harmony.
Benediktas Gylys, President of the Benediktas Gylys Foundation stated in a press release that as humanity is facing many potentially deadly challenges such as social polarisation, climate change or economic issues, they have decided to bring the PORTAL idea to life. It is a bridge that unifies and helps people to rise above prejudices and disagreements that belong to the past.
The sci-fi device is not a one-time project as the organizers plan to install dozens of such devices across Europe to further connect the world in the near future.