Wireless in the world

An ongoing Touch theme is about making invisible wireless technologies visible, in order to better understand and communicate with and about them (see a Graphic Language for RFID, Dashed lines and Fictional radio spaces).

Right now I am sitting near fourteen objects sending and receiving radio signals, from Oyster cards to mobile phones and wireless routers in a multitude of overlapping and competing fields. Here we are creating communicative material that uses dashed-line abstractions to visualise the presence of wireless technologies in the everyday environment. What if we could see every field produced by an Oyster card or NFC enabled mobile phone for instance?

Wireless visualisation street

Using simple abstractions such as the dashed line and the kinds of visual language that we have previously proposed for RFID allow us to quickly communicate aspects such as the spatial properties of wireless technologies that are often overlooked. I’ve been using these images in presentations for a while, to sensitise designers and students to the spatial and embodied properties of RFID, Bluetooth and WIFI.

We are also experimenting with video, where the visualisations are part of an environment in a moving sequence. This is looking like a useful technique for making visual explanations of invisible materials.

Here are more images:

Wireless rfid visualisation street

NFC phones and contactless cards.

Wireless mobile visualisation street

NFC phones.

Wireless wifi visualisation street

Wifi and bluetooth.

Wireless poster visualisation street

An NFC-enabled bus timetable.

Wireless poster visualisation

An NFC-enabled ‘smart poster’.

Wireless Oyster visualisation

An Oyster card reader and cards

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 Responses to Wireless in the world

  1. karl 23 March 2009 at 3:52 #

    One thing I think remarkable in your photos is that it makes obvious not only the radio zone around us, but that it is objects we are holding which broadcast information and not humans. It creates an opacity layer which is quite interesting and playful.

    We haven’t (yet) gone the road of mass inclusion of rfid chips under our skin. Though that could come, it is becoming more and more mandatory for animals (cats, dogs) travelling from one country to another to have an RFID chip. Testing on animals first. :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Leapfroglog - links for 2009-03-17 - 17 March 2009

    [...] Links on 17 March 2009 with no comments Wireless in the world Timo superimposes dashed circles on still and moving images to highlight the spatial and embodied [...]

  2. Links 2009-03-17 - Adam Crowe - 18 March 2009

    [...] Touch — Wireless in the world "Here we are creating communicative material that uses dashed-line abstractions to visualise the presence of wireless technologies in the everyday environment." videos visualization leaky surveillance radio bluetooth wireless rfid spimes everyware design [...]

  3. rb.log» Blog Archive » Visualizing the wireless - 19 March 2009

    [...] must have been a pain for the guys at Nearfield to draw all these little dotted circles, but it’s an effective way of highlighting the quantity of wi-fi devices of one sort or another [...]

  4. Visualizing Wireless Signals - PSFK.com - 19 March 2009

    [...] [via Touch Blog] [...]

  5. Sam Kinsley » Blog Archive » links for 2009-04-14 - 14 April 2009

    [...] Wireless in the world Timo trys to create graphic language for making-visible wireless technologies: "An ongoing Touch theme is about making invisible wireless technologies visible, in order to better understand and communicate with and about them (see a Graphic Language for RFID, Dashed lines and Fictional radio spaces)." (tags: technology mobile ubicomp visualisation nfc wireless ubiquity diagram cosmopolitics) [...]

  6. numerimatch.com - 18 April 2009

    Wireless in the world…

    Présence du wireless dans nos vies … Test …...

  7. » Wireless in the world sumit/blog - 1 March 2010

    [...] via http://www.nearfield.org/2009/03/wireless-in-the-world [...]

  8. 7.5th Floor » Blog Archive » Exploiting the Bluetooth Spectrum as Material for Space Management Strategies - 17 March 2010

    [...] Wireless in the world as part of the Touch project, Timo Arnall makes visibible the objects sending and receiving radio [...]

  9. 7.5th Floor » Blog Archive » The HABITAR Exhibition - 30 May 2010

    [...] people’s experience of the urban space The wireless infrastructure subtly highlighted in Wireless in the World (2009) project fashions sentient and reactive environments through information layers that are [...]

  10. TNW Polska - 10 August 2010

    [...] nearfield.org [...]

  11. Please Stay Behind The Blue Wi-Fi Fence — The Pop-Up City - 11 March 2011

    [...] sort of large scale, real world implementation. They also experimented with the visualization of Wi-Fi earlier. This new very much hands on approach works amazingly well in terms of the images it produces. I [...]

  12. rb.log» Blog Archive » “The Things We Keep” by Christian Svanes - 15 August 2011

    [...] and ideas from the Oslo School of Architecture and Designs “Touch” project (particularly this one). This idea that objects can hold their history, and through that keep us in touch with out past, [...]

  13. Ideas generation and concept development | twopointfivedesign - 4 July 2012

    [...] http://www.nearfield.org/2009/03/wireless-in-the-world Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  14. The Wilson Project » Building The Future, Day 1 – The Beginning - 25 December 2012

    [...] Wireless in the World, they were imagining wireless networks available in the surrounding environment. Now, this looks [...]

  15. Wireless in the world / 1 | who killed bambi? - 14 June 2013

    [...] project by Timo [...]

  16. Please Stay Behind The Blue Wi-Fi Fence — The Pop-Up City - 7 January 2014

    […] sort of large scale, real world implementation. They also experimented with the visualization of Wi-Fi earlier. This new very much hands on approach works amazingly well in terms of the images it produces. I […]

  17. Mayo Nissen » Teaching: CIID Summer School - 6 August 2014

    […] Timo Arnall, AHO Touch Project (2009): Wireless in the World – link […]

Leave a Reply