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The People's webcam.

So have you heard about the Tholos yet? Reason has a small piece on it but the Economist covered it better (link unavailable for non-subscribers):

The Tholos, named after a Greek temple from the Mycenaean period, is a 3-metre high, 360-degree screen that sends and receives images between two locations, in effect providing a window between the two cities. If you're in London, you'll be able to walk up to the screen and have a chat with someone in Vienna, as though you were meeting in the town square. A panoramic view of the other city will be visible in the background, and it will always be on.

This elaborate project was devised by Tholos Systems, a company based in Vienna. It incorporates the latest high definition television (HDTV) technology, with rear projection, high-resolution cameras, and specially coated screens to prevent graffiti. But it's not all 21st-century technology. The Tholos also uses a projection technique borrowed from a device over a century old: the zoetrope. The mechanical shutters in front of the HDTV equipment will switch between a camera facing outwards and a projector showing an image from the distant city. As in a zoetrope, these shutters operate at a high speed that makes the switching invisible to the human eye.

None have been built yet, but the idea is to place them in the centers of the great cities of Europe to help work towards the vision of European unity. And unlike most grand schemes of this nature, they won't cost the EU any money; they'll be paid for by advertising that will interrupt the connection from time-to-time.

From what I've been able to find out, there haven't been any firm plans made to deploy any of these things yet. Possibly there are people that feel giant TV screens blaring ads for cell-phones in front of the great cultural monuments of Europe is a little gauche. Perhaps the creators of this technology are aiming for the wrong customers.

The US, I think, would be far more accepting of this technology. Stick one in the Mall of America connecting with one in Disneyworld. Put one in New York, New York, Las Vegas linking to Times Square. Create smaller versions of the system and sell them to swanky nightclubs and restaurants. Lots and lots of possibilities.

I'm looking forward to seeing one on my next trip to Vegas. They better get cracking.

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Comments

Its an interesting concept, as the whole world seems to be coming together as "one"
Kinda reminds ya of the "tower of babel"!

If they connect to other language countries, they need to be translated so they can understand each other, did't God confuse the people years ago by giving them different languages so they couldnt communicate with one another.
Ah well, pride comes before a fall!

Tholos has the distinction of becoming groundbreaking, and original in communication links for the world.
Best of luck with the inception and initial usage to the creators.

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