If We Could See Wi-Fi

Artist Nickolay Lamm (previously at Neatorama) wondered what Wi-Fi would look like if it were visible. He partnered with NASA astrobiologist M. Browning Vogel to illustrate it.

"She provided all the details. I made sure that she approved of the images, and essentially what happened is that she guided me through the whole illustrated process to make sure they were scientifically accurate as possible," Lamm says.

Vogel explains that Wi-Fi is an energy field with a frequency shorter than radio waves but longer than microwaves. Wi-Fi waves are about three to five inches between crests, which a computer reads as "1." (The troughs of the wave are read as "0"). That information then translates into the chains of binary code that dictate the Internet. Lamm and Vogel decided to use red, orange, and yellow to show the distinct Wi-Fi channels, or segments, that make up a spherical field, which can reach 20 to 30 meters from a typical Wi-Fi box.

See several different ways Lamm illustrated the information at Fast Co. Exist. Link -via
Summer Rayne Oakes

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I saw this on another site a day ago, and it was best summed up by someone else in the other site's comments as "99% art, 1% science or technology." The images are essentially abstract art that seem to convey very little content that actually corresponds to how things work. Even the statement that the crests correspond to a 1 and the trough correspond to a 0 is horrendously wrong, as otherwise every message would be 101010101010... If you deviated far enough away from the wave shape, such that not every trough has a corresponding crest, that non-wave shaped structure would be filtered out by equipment selecting the narrow band of frequencies corresponding to a channel.

A more accurate image of what it would look like would to image each wireless router was a light bulb, most things would look like they were made of glass or frosted glass since a lot would be transparent to those frequencies, except conductors like metals that would be opaque and reflective. You could get into some diffraction and interference effects if looking close enough, but that probably wouldn't be noticed in larger, outdoor scenes like they are trying to show.
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