Light-paintings sketch WiFi signals in spectacular display

Light-paintings sketch WiFi signals in spectacular display

Summary: A team of designer researchers in Norway are investigating the material and spatial qualities of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.

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A team of designer researchers in Norway are investigating the material and spatial qualities of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.

Credit: Timo Arnall

Credit: Timo Arnall

They've built a 4-meter tall wooden probe with a microcontroller, a WiFi module, and 80 LEDs running the entire length that pulse and raise based on the strength of a selected WiFi network.

After three weeks of light painting in the Günerløkka area of Oslo, Norway, the time-lapse photography of the pulsing lights create a physical representation of the invisible terrain of WiFi networks.

According to the designers, the visualizations demonstrate how networks are both shaped by the environment and influence how urban spaces can be used. Digital qualities we think of as network strength and range are shown as material manifestations.

Credit: Timo Arnall

Credit: Timo Arnall

"The light paintings illustrate how the networked city can be both ubiquitous, messy, informal and seamful, and emphasize how the invisible landscape of networks is another layer of the dense and complex urban contexts we already know," concludes Einar Sneve Martinussen, one of the members involved in the project.

The team plans to expand their research into invisible landscapes to better understand our urban existence through other more widespread technologies including 3G, GSM and radio.

Related:

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Andrea Vaccari inteview: MIT's SENSEable City Laboratory

(Via Singularity Hub)

Topics: Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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6 comments
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  • RE: Light-paintings sketch WiFi signals in spectacular display

    welcome to 7 weeks ago.

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/01/design-project-paints-citys-wifi-networks-with-light/
    bc3tech
    • RE: Light-paintings sketch WiFi signals in spectacular display

      @bc3tech Not everyone reads endgaget every day. I quit patronizing them over the iPhone 4 debacle.
      dheady@...
    • RE: Light-paintings sketch WiFi signals in spectacular display

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  • RE: Light-paintings sketch WiFi signals in spectacular display

    Fascinating! As a techgeek and fine artist I see enormous possibilities for this sort of art. From the photos it appears they've only done a single 'slice' of the signal. I'd like to see a three dimensional impression by either doing the photos while the emitter is walked in a grid or some pattern that provides that third dimension to the image. Color variation from the top of the stick to the bottom would be a nice touch as well.
    Thanks for the piece Chris! Not everyone likes to use endgaget.
    dheady@...
    • Thank you

      @dheady...

      Great point about a 3D version, and maybe color variation to show multiple networks at once.

      I almost passed this up since it was "old" news, but I have a soft spot for visualizations.

      Anyway, some of what I cover gets replayed later, even a year out like the wave disk engine.

      Best,
      Chris Jablonski
      christopher_jablonski
  • Message has been deleted.

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