A PhD student from the UK’s Newcastle University has developed a method to capture wireless networks on film, and the result is a series of remarkable images showing the networks as swirls of coloured light.
The images, which include networks surrounding objects as well as in a typical home and on the university campus, show how the networks are affected by the structures around them.
Luis Hernan, who is studying for a PhD in Architecture and Interaction Design, used a specially designed Kirlian device and long-exposure photography to capture the images of the networks, which he calls spectres.
“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,” explained Hernan.
” It is an impossibly fragile and volatile infrastructure that holds our digital technologies together, and shapes the way in which we interact with the digital world,” he added.
“Something as seemingly inconsequential as walking around the house will interfere with and reshape their propagation and strength field. Close the wrong door, and the bedroom becomes a dead spot for wireless.”
Kirlian devices are typically used to capture coronal discharges from electricity sources, where fluid around a conductor becomes electrically energised and ionises. The result is a field of electrical energy around the object that can appear as a blueish glow.
Hernan has also created an android app so that users can see the networks for themselves.
Images courtesy of Luis Hernan and Newcastle University.