Set up as a “quarantine project” by Singaporean couple Sonali Ranjit and Vaishnav Balasubramaniam, WindowSwap is a site that lets you sample the world’s windows from the safety of your laptop.
Need a change of scenery? Now you can instantly transport yourself to the view from someone else's window with Window-Swap. Just go to the website and instantly enjoy a view from anywhere in the world, from San Francisco to Singapore. pic.twitter.com/trOjCTLLxP
— Dave Ryan (@daveryankdwb) July 15, 2020
Aware that our ability to travel looked likely to be limited for some time, the pair asked people around the world to send in 10-minute HD videos capturing the views from their homes, for online users to browse at their leisure.
“WindowSwap is here to fill that deep void in our wanderlust hearts by allowing us to look through someone else’s window, somewhere in the world, for a while,” reads the website.
The pair quickly accumulated a large catalogue of rooms with views, from sweeping high rise panoramas to the pond at the end of the garden. Submissions have streamed in from across the globe, and a quick surf reveals misty mountainsides in Austria, seaside verandas in Okinawa, pastel-coloured villages in Tuscany, and the iconic skyline of Manhattan.
Social media users have widely praised the site as calming and cathartic, and the founders are now struggling to keep up with the inundation of videos.
Ooo! I found a window swap from Bangalore with dogs in it! (It's random so you have to get lucky.)
— Zola The Gorgon (@zola_the_gorgon) July 15, 2020
“Thanks for the overwhelming support. We are over the moon,” reads a site update, “but since it’s just two of us screening and uploading your videos, it may take a while before you see your beautiful window on the site.”
Most, though not all, the videos have sound – background noise from the scenes outside – and a number feature photobombing pets.