Public video conferencing for cultural exchange

London and New York are (for a little while) connected by a massive ‘telescope’ (thanks, Engadget!) that lets people see each other on the street, across the ocean.

I love this! And as bandwidth drops in price, I think we should see a lot more of it.

Years ago I was reading about our city’s participation in the sister cities program, a cultural exchange that involves sending the occasional musician, high school student, politician, and soccer team back and forth. That’s a nice way to exchange some culture, but wouldn’t it be cooler if there was a coffee shop in each city that had a video-conferencing wall? (Demo) Where you could see and hear the whole shop, and then sit down at a table that let you talk to the person across from you?

What if every English corner was a portal to another country? (Well, there’d be a convenient place to make an angry, xenophobic rant without fear of getting beat up… but we can hope for some more positive exchanges, too.)

You might also like...