This art project turns primitive smoke signals into ones and zeros

An art installation from the Koln International School of Design aims to give us a feel for the ethereal radio waves we take for granted every day. Binairy Talk, created by Niklas Isselburg and Jakob Killian, uses a sound generator and pulsing device to fire smoke rings at a laser sensor. Those are interpreted by a computer as either ones or zeros, with the resulting messages displayed on a screen. That may seem like a cumbersome way to say "hello," but the idea is to use an ancient, tangible system like smoke signals to "create awareness as to how much data and information constantly surrounds us." High minded concepts aside, it's also pretty cool -- check the video below.

[Image credit: KISD/Niklas Isselberg]