Wireless networks translated to sound

November 13, 2014

Topic

Data Art  /  ,

Wi-fi is embedded in our everyday lives so much that we don’t pay much attention unless it’s not around. We’ve seen it translated visually a couple of times. But this time, Phantom Terrains, by Frank Swain and Daniel Jones and visualization by Stefanie Posavec, translates networks into sound.

Phantom Terrains is an experimental platform which aims to answer this question by translating the characteristics of wireless networks into sound. By streaming this signal to a pair of hearing aids, the listener is able to hear the changing landscapes of data that surround them. Network identifiers, data rates and encryption modes are translated into sonic parameters, with familiar networks becoming recognizable by their auditory representations.

Above is a test walk around the BBC Broadcasting House. Listen to signals translated to what kind of sounds like alien communications.