Architecture of Radio, the experimental app by Richard Vijgen that lets you “see” Wi-Fi signals, satellites, and other radio waves, is now available for anyone to download.
Originally presented at Germany’s ZKM in Karlsruhe, Architecture of Radio is an augmented reality app that visualizes the network of radio waves that surrounds us, revealing the invisible traffic of cell towers, overhead satellites, and more as a web of radio waves in which all of us are caught. The original exhibition was hard programmed to allow you to see ZKM’s Wi-Fi routers, which is absent from the iOS app version. However, by just tilting your iPhone or iPad around and looking around you, you can still see representations of the data webs that surround you.
The app uses GPS to get the user’s location, then finds cell towers within reach using OpenCellID and any satellites passing overhead from NASA’s JPL data. It then animates all of this information on your iPhone or iPad’s screen, simulating the invisible infosphere that surrounds us all.
When we originally asked Viljegen about what inspired his app back in August, he told us that he was concerned about the fact that humans could not see or touch the networks which they most depend on. “”We cannot see the very thing that is defining our time, and that concerns me,” he said “As technology is becoming more and more transparent, I think data visualization can help us to relate to things that are invisible, yet play an important role in our lives.”
Architecture of Radio is available for iPhone and iPad for $2.99 here. An Android version is slated to land in early 2016.