Smoke signals, electrical telegraphy, telephone, mobile and now Internet and instant text messaging apps. The diverse needs of human beings to stay in touch with one another has led to the invention of many communication services. Today, Shared Studios is pushing the virtual contact boundaries to a whole new level.
The what-so-called portals of Shared Studios are now spread all over the world. Shared Studios’ portals are set up in a number of cities such as New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Havana, Bulawayo, Herat and Tehran. Aparat, The Iranian video sharing platform has partnered up with Shared Studios and has opened up a portal in Tehran. Recently we got a chance to see the portal ourselves and jump on the experience.
These portals or ‘wormholes’ are actually a container or a compact room with a black interior. Inside the container has nothing but a human-sized vertical screen, a video projector, a microphone and a speaker. Through these wormholes, people in different cities of the world get to virtually meet each other and have a live conversation as if they are standing in one room. Through the other side of the portal, somewhere thousands of kilometers away in another city, a random stranger is waiting to talk to you. They are strange to you as much as you are to them. Different languages, cultures, believes etc. It’s that moment when you enter the room and start introducing yourself that you realize those perceptions you had of someone with a total different background has no meaning.
On our portal experience, we got to meet two friendly folks from San Francisco. One was a woman engineer and MBA graduate originally form Kazakhstan interested in startups. The other person was the founder of a startup that made tools and communication softwares for organizations. We asked them about their perceptions of the daily life in Iran and they told us that they know what is shown in today’s mainstream media is just one side of the story. We also got a chance to introduce TechRasa and the startup scene in Iran to our new friends. Before entering the portal, I was thinking having 20 minutes appointed to talk with a stranger is too long and somewhat awkward. In the end, it turned out we passed the time limit.
Shared Studios portals are open to everyone and are free to access. To experience the portal in Tehran, schedule a time by sending an email to [email protected].
Top image courtesy of sharedstudios.com