Ever wondered how the Wi-Fi signal varies around your house or workplace? Well, a new project by Luis Hernan combines signal strength sensing with light painting to show you just that.
As part of a project for his PhD in Architecture and Interaction Design, Hernan has created what he calls a Kirlian device: it’s an instrument that senses the signal strength of Wi-Fi networks, and then translates the signals into colour using LEDs. Using a long exposure, he can then lightpaint entire physical spaces — creating these beautiful images, which visualise how Wi-Fi shifts and swirls within the walls of a building.
In the images, red indicates the strongest signals and blue the weakest. Hernan explains how the project came about:
“This project came about as a design discourse on digital technologies, and the invisible infrastructure underpinning it. I believe our interaction with this landscape of electromagnetic signals, described by Antony Dunne as Hertzian Space, can be characterised in the same terms as that with ghosts and spectra. They both are paradoxical entities, whose untypical substance allows them to be an invisible presence… The fact we are becoming increasingly reliant on something that we can’t see intrigues me. I wanted to find a way to show the wireless which is around us and also to show how it changes.”