Light Mural Translates Wi-Fi Signal Strength into Physical Reality
We’re all increasingly dependent on Wi-Fi for civilization to function — if it went out worldwide for a day, there would probably be global revolution and anarchy — but what is it, really? Tech-savvy Oslo-based designers and artists Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen, Einar Sneve Martinussen came up with a clever, visually stunning way of representing Wi-Fi signals as physical forces, the fruits of which can be seen in the video above. By constructing a Wi-Fi measuring rod made of a bar of lights and shooting long-exposure footage of that bar in motion, they were able to visually represent Wi-Fi as it flows from buildings.
The measuring rod is inspired by the poles land surveyors use to map and describe the physical landscape. Similarly, our equipment allows us to reveal and represent topographies of wireless networks. The measuring rod uses a typical mobile WiFi antenna to measure reception, and draw out 4 metre tall graphs of light.
The size of the measuring rod and the light paintings it creates emphasises the architectural scale at which WiFi operates, and situates the networks in the physical environments that they are a part of. The light of the measuring rod pulses as it is being moved, which creates dashed lines rather than solid ones. This creates a semi-transparent texture that allows the visualisation to appear within the physical setting without covering it.