Here's A Look At All The Wireless Signals We're Surrounded By (But Can't See)
In a world clogged with invisible waves of communication, it's hard to even conceptualize what our day-to-day communications actually look like. Richard Vijgen calls this the "infosphere" — an interdependent environment populated by informational entities like radio waves and Wi-Fi signals.
With his new site-specific iPad app, The Architecture of Radio, Vijgen and his studio are dedicated to "hiding the visible and revealing the invisible technological landscape we interact with through our devices."
The result is a beautiful, near-mesmerizing map of these frequencies superimposed onto any area you wish to view. Here, the iPad quite literally becomes a window.
The app uses GPS tracking to zero in on the user's location and then finds a cell tower to lock onto, with the help of an open collaborative map of cell towers called OpenCellID. Next, it calculates the position of satellites overhead, based on data it gathers from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's satellite location system, Ephemeris. Finally, it crunches and synthesizes this data to give us a beautiful AR-style interface that allows users to move around the room and navigate their experience.
A site-specific version of the app will be on display at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, from September 2015 to April 2016.
Here is a video of the thing in action: