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See the radio waves constantly bathing you with this app

Architecture of Radio visualizes all the WiFi and cellular networks flooding our world.

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Whether or not you realize it, there are radio waves constantly washing over you. Thanks to the countless WiFi routers, cellular towers, and GPS satellites (not to mention all the Bluetooth and other smaller wireless devices) the air is literally just a sea of energy. Architecture of Radio is an app that aims to visualize those ebbs and flows of data. Creator Richard Vijgen taps into a public database of 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and hundreds of satellites to create an augmented reality experience where you can point your iPad or iPhone in any direction and a representation of the radio signals in your area.

This isn't a practical app though. If you're hoping that Architecture of Radio will guide you towards areas devoid of signals, you'll be disappointed. This is an art project, and an ambitious one at that. Not just because the combination of location services and a giant database or wireless networks requires plenty of technical skill to implement, but because any attempt to reveal the invisible is rife with challenges.

The app is on display at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany, but you can try it out yourself at home. It's available for $3 in the App Store for users of iOS 9. Android customers will have to hold out until early 2016 for their own version.

[Image credit: Juuke Schoorl]

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