New Website Lets Users Look Out of Other People’s Windows

Category : Technology/Innovations

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. gaze / geɪz / (v) – to look at someone or something steadily for a long time

    The child gazed at the new toys displayed in the store’s window.

  2. monotonous / məˈnɒt n əs / (adj) – describing something that is unchanging and boring

    I sometimes go hiking or visit hot springs to break the monotonous life in the city.

  3. scenic / ˈsi nɪk / (adj) – showing a beautiful view, usually of nature

    Every fall, tourists visit the scenic town to take pictures.

  4. screen / skrin / (v) – to check or evaluate someone or something based on criteria

    The company screens all applicants carefully to find the best candidate for the job.

  5. make (one’s) way (somewhere) / meɪk weɪ / (idiom) – to move toward a particular direction or location

    My cat finally made his way home after he went missing for two days.


Read the text below.

A newly launched website lets users gaze out of strangers’ windows around the world from the comfort of their own homes.

WindowSwap was created by a Singapore-based couple working in advertising. According to the couple, they got bored of seeing the monotonous view from their window, so they created a website where they can see other people’s views instead.

Some of the featured scenic views include a mountain from Switzerland, a rainy street in Thailand, and a boardwalk and ocean in Japan.

Users can immediately see a short video of someone’s view from a window by simply clicking a button on WindowSwap’s main page. At the top of each video, the name and location of the person who submitted the entry are shown.

Interested users can also submit a 10-minute horizontal video of a view from their own window or balcony to WindowSwap. They should include their first name and location in their entries. Users can also upload their videos to video-hosting website Vimeo and send the link via email to WindowSwap. Ideally, the videos should be filmed in high definition, and at least a corner of a window or door frame should be included in the shot.

According to the website creators, more than 500 videos have been submitted to their website, and around 100 have already been uploaded. The website owners screen the videos individually before uploading them, so it will take time before a submitted view makes its way onto the website.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Are you interested in submitting a video to WindowSwap? Why or why not?
• What scenic view would you like to be featured on WindowSwap (e.g. a flower farm, a mountain)? Why?

Discussion B

• If you could create a similar website, what would you feature (e.g. foods from all over the world)? Discuss.
• Do you think it is important for people to share unique things about their countries with people living in other countries? Why or why not?

Category : Technology/Innovations