When you’re looking for a Wi-Fi signal, it’s sometimes fun to imagine that you might one day be able to see the waves of available Internet access as they flow from various, hidden hotspots around you. Well, now someone has created an app that purports to do just that, and Internet connectivity never looked so beautiful. Netherlands-based interactive producer Richard Vijgen calls the iPad app Architecture of Radio and, in addition to detecting Wi-Fi, he claims that it also picks up signals from cell towers and observation satellites.
The app hasn’t been released yet, but a video demonstration offers a brief peek at how it works. In the video, a person uses the app to pick up a wide array of Wi-Fi and communications signals that are represented by circular waveforms cascading across the screen like ocean waves, accented by radio static sounds indicating new signals.
A site-specific version of the interactive app that will also detect wired communication nodes embedded in an exhibition space will be on display beginning this month at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany. An iOS version of the app, which Vijgen refers to as “a field guide to the hidden world of digital networks,” will be released in December, and an Android version will be available in early 2016.