Have you ever wondered what wireless signals look like? Here is your answer

We use wireless signals continuously during our daily lives. Be it WiFi, cellular data or GPS, we are always in the process of transmitting and receiving data through wireless signals. Since wireless signals are invisible to the naked eye, we don’t always realize that we are completely surrounded by a feast of different wireless signals that are all connected to our electronic devices one way or another.

visualized wireless signals

Visualized wireless signals [Image Courtesy of Science Alert]

The interesting concept of visualizing the wireless signals in our immediate surroundings is to be done by Architecture of Radio, a data visualization exhibit due next month at the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. This product was designed by Richard Vijgen, a Dutch artist, who has also created an iPad app that will allow us to observe the infosphere. The infosphere is the term used to describe the environment – think of it like a biosphere – that contains informational entities. Keep in mind that this environment is not constrained to only online environments.

wireless signals 3

[Image Courtesy of Architecture of Radio]

“We are completely surrounded by an invisible system of data cables and radio signals from access points, cell towers and overhead satellites. Our digital lives depend on these very physical systems for communication, observation and navigation.” says Vijgen on his website.

One might think that Architecture of Radio’s visualization of the wireless signals is purely imaginative. It actually happens that with the help of real-time GPS allowing a location-based visualization of the wireless signals to be generated. The wireless signals that can be visualized can include cellular signals and WiFi. It can even be used to track satellite-based communications.

wireless signals 4

[Image Courtesy of Architecture of Radio]

One interesting thing to note about this app at the moment is that it is site specific since it uses GPS to provide the location-based results. The reason behind this specificity is that it also includes wired infrastructure when providing the representation of the wireless signals. This is definitely the case for the exhibition. However after the exhibition, perhaps the location constraint might be lifted or become optional in the public release expected this year.

Here is a video to provide you with a perspective on how your environment looks like while you are reading this article. Enjoy!

Source: Science Alert

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