WiFi is everywhere, floating and whirling around us somehow, but where is it really? In Immaterials: Light painting WiFi, Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen and Einar Sneve Martinussen use a rod of blinking lights to visualize signal strength in their college town.
In order to study the spatial and material qualities of wireless networks, we built a WiFi measuring rod that visualises WiFi signal strength as a bar of lights. When moved through space the rod displays changes in the WiFi signal. Long-exposure photographs of the moving rod reveal cross sections of a network’s signal strength.
The stronger the signal strength, the more lights that illuminate in that specific spot, updating as the walker/carrier moves. Then using long-exposure photographs, the lights are recorded for beautiful results. Super simple concept, yet very effective. See the device in action in the video below.
[YOUrban via @wattenberg]
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‘Seamful’ is the word. What a clash of meanings when this display of signal strength looks like a security fence…
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What is interesting to me is the degree of spatial variability of a single network’s signal strength. I also wonder if charting the same network over the same ‘path’ at different times would show variability; hinting at other variables affecting signal strength. Really interesting concept and a great visualisation.