NYC-Dublin Live Video Portal Reopens with Safety Improvements


When placing a video portal in a public park in New York City, some inappropriate actions are likely to occur. The Portal, conceived by Lithuanian artist and entrepreneur Benediktas Gylys, was created to foster shared experiences and connections among people.

Since its opening earlier this month, the majority of visitors on both sides of the Atlantic engaged positively, waving to each other, bringing kids and pets, and participating in friendly interactions. However, a few individuals misbehaved, including an OnlyFans model who exposed herself and another person who mooned the portal.

On the Dublin side, some individuals displayed swastikas and images of the Twin Towers burning, prompting officials to jointly decide to take a break. The main issue was caused by people placing cameras directly in front of the Portal camera, obstructing the view for other visitors.

Organizers responded by erecting a temporary fence around the Portal to prevent people from approaching too closely. Additionally, they now station one or two guides to promote and facilitate more friendly interactions.

For now, instead of being open 24 hours as Gylys had intended, the Portal operates from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. in New York City and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Dublin.

Nicolas Klaus, head of partnerships at, remarked that the behavior was surprising as they had not encountered such issues with a previous Portal installation between Lithuania and Poland. The atmosphere brought by New Yorkers and Dubliners was distinctly different.

“There was some behavior that was not ideal. For instance, someone showed a picture of 9/11, which we don’t know the person’s intention, but it was simply irritating,” Klaus told Truth Voices. He emphasized that this behavior contradicted the exhibit’s artistic spirit. “The goal is to offer a window for people to connect. Blocking the entire screen by placing a hand on the Portal camera undermines the project’s purpose.”

As a solution, software was employed to prevent camera obstructions. Video Window, the company responsible for the Portal’s software, developed a machine learning approach during the hiatus to dissuade such actions.

Video Window CEO Daryl Hutchings explained that while setting operational hours was straightforward due to the software’s timer function, deterring people from holding their phones up to the camera posed a greater challenge.

“If a phone or someone’s hand blocks the camera for an extended period, the software will blur the local camera feed instantly, causing the distant side to see a blurred image. Additionally, the local display will also be blurred,” Hutchings said. A sign is also displayed indicating that the behavior is prohibited on the offending side.

The intent is to educate the individual not to block the camera. The creators are still fine-tuning the blur duration, but since the Portal’s reopening on Sunday, there have been no incidents triggering the blurring. This indicates that the fencing and human guides may be successfully fostering the positive interactions envisioned by the designers.

Ron Miller
Ron Miller
Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise since 2014. Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

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