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Futuristic portal in NYC connects to people in Dublin, Ireland

Some say portal, others say giant FaceTime donut
  • An artwork has been unveiled that connects Dublin and New York
  • Dubbed ‘The Portal’, it’s a giant, sci-fi-inspired portal between the two major cities
  • Some have dismissed it as a glorified FaceTime while others see it as marking the return of the dance battle

Published on May 13, 2024 at 2:01PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 14, 2024 at 5:46PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

A portal linking New York and Dublin – dubbed simply ‘The Portal’ – has just been unveiled.

The futuristic, circular design takes inspiration from sci-fi shows like Star Trek.

Each massive round portal offers a live view of what is happening in the other city.

However, the lack of audio has led to people getting creative with how they communicate with the other side.

READ MORE: Modern ‘Back to the Future’ DeLorean time machine is actually a Tesla Model X

While The Portal might sound like a giant security camera, it’s actually an art installation.

And just like the fake Prada store in the middle of the desert, this public installation has caused a huge stir.

One half is in Manhattan’s Flatiron District and the other is on O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main street.

The two cities are 3,000 miles and, until conventional planes are replaced with supersonic jets, an 8-hour plane trip apart.

They’re now connected with a 24/7 livestream, where residents can simply walk to the portal in their city to see what is happening across the world.

The pair were built by the company Portals, founded by Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys.

Gylys hopes that installations like this will connect people from all walks of life, from all over the world.

“The livestream provides a window between distant locations, allowing people to meet outside of their social circles and cultures, transcend geographical boundaries, and embrace the beauty of global interconnectedness,” Gylys said in a press release.

Since being launched, crowds of people have gathered at each portal to get a real-time glimpse into what’s happening on the other side of the world.

Portals intentionally did not install audio features, which means people have to resort to the only universally understood language to communicate: body language.

At first, people were merely waving to each other, but of course things have escalated in the days since.

People have made signs, met up with loved ones who live in the portal’s other city, and created silent competitions like dance battles and charades.

“Even the most serious-looking people who look like they have never waved to anyone in their entire lives start smiling and waving with immense joy!” Gylys said.

This is not the first portal of its kind: the organization already connected Poland and Lithuania.

Following this success, Portals plans to connect London and Reykjavik in Iceland.

Amidst all the excitement of this giant art installation were a lot of skeptics.

“This is basically FaceTime through a giant donut,” one commenter said.

“This is a webcam, not a portal,” another commenter said.

Others were less cynical.

“This is the time to bring dance battles back and see who’s the best in the whole world,” one commenter said.

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