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Gallery: Invisible Wireless Networks Revealed with Brilliant Lights

Mapping the Invisible

Mapping Wireless Networks with Lights

(Image credit: Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal project)

The "Digital Ethereal" project, by Luis Hernan, a Ph.D. student at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, used tricks of photography to map wireless networks with colorful beams of light.

These networks, normally invisible to the human eye, are transformed into stunning swirls of color in a series of photographs. [Read the full story]

Hotspot

Swirling Lights Depict Personal Hotspot

(Image credit: Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal project)

With the help of an instrument called the Kirlian Device, Luis Hernan, a Ph.D. student in architecture and interaction design at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, found a way to capture wireless networks with vibrant lights, creating fascinating, ghostly images.

Swirling Up the Stairs

Wireless Networks Around Stairs

(Image credit: Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal project)

"Through these colors you can see how the wireless network is behaving," Hernan said.

All Lit Up

Lights Map Wireless Signal Strength

(Image credit: Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal project)

"The idea is that the colors allow you to see the differences in signal strength," Hernan said. "The greater signal strength normally comes as a red and weaker strength comes as a blue."

Signal Strength

Lounge's Wi-Fi Networks Mapped

(Image credit: Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal project)

Hernan has also developed a free Kirlian Device Mobile Android app, which users can download to capture their own images of wireless networks.

Art Exhibit

Newcastle University's "The Secret Body of Wireless" Exhibit

(Image credit: Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal project)

Some of Hernan's photographs of wireless networks were showcased in an exhibit at Newcastle University, called "The Secret Body of Wireless," which also featured an installation made from Android phones hanging from the ceiling and running a modified version of the Kirlian device Android app.

Bright Path

Newcastle University's School of Architecture

(Image credit: Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal project)

"My main motivation [to develop the wireless network-capturing technique] at the beginning was understanding how these technologies started changing the way that we live, and especially changing the way that we see space and we understand architectural space in a way," Hernan said.