In Oslo, Norway, it's not uncommon for a dazzling aurora borealis to light up the night sky. Or maybe it's just the Internet you're looking at.
Timo Arnall, Jorn Knutsen, and Einar Sneve Martinussen from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design have found a unique way to visualize invisible Wi-Fi signals in their Norwegian city by light-painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.
Their project, which is documented in a film called Immaterials: Light painting Wi-Fi, is powered by a 13-foot "Wi-Fi measuring rod" containing 80 lights that illuminate at varying levels depending on signal reach.
The glowing Wi-Fi measuring staff, which is truly worthy of Gandalf himself, is operated by a microcontroller. To create the mesmerizing visuals, the artists--Ph.D. candidates in interaction design--placed a camera nearby as the rod was taken to various locations at nighttime in the Oslo borough of Grunerlokka.
The Wi-Fi visualizations are part of the research project YOUrban, which explores the intersection between design, technology, and urban life and previously showed the invisible fields surrounding RFID readers. With their Wi-Fi light painting, the designers noticed a pattern. … Read more