Electromagnetic Waves Visiualizations

Master of Interaction Design - Institue of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia - 2013

It all started by a workshop around nature and technology. The research associated with workshop was around investigating a technology that could exist in the future, and that would make our obsessions come true. I made a white box brought along a number of random objects that could help me investigate the box in different contexts. I kept the waves obsession in the background of my mind. Thanks to the huge spring which I bought by accident from the horse riding shop(!), hanging the box from a tree, whilte literally filming the waves of the spring, move, interact and breath, was a stunning inspiration to how we can, literally see electromagnetic waves.

For the final exhibition, I buit a DIY projector. Placed it inside the white box, so now if you layed under the table, which is somehow darker, you can have an intimate and cosy experience of literally watching and listening to..the waves.

I designed and planned my thesis reseach in order to explore different tracks of visiualizign electromagnetic waves. The data input depends on antennas, which could be made of any conductive materail, and which could involve very creative shapes being generated. The sensor, which depends on a small piece of electronic called RF or log amplifier. This piece has to be nicely tuned with the signals it recieves from the antenna in order for measurements to make sense. The output was meant to be practically helpful; as much as the topic of visiualizing EMF waves is about giving voice to the unseen, as much as the educational aspect of the matter is not of less importance. The output was meant to have a clear ad bold outcome and use of data, that didn't necessairly have to be technologically stunning (such as augmented reality, or visiually seductive timelapses) as much as it had to be handy and very easily apprehendid by any user./h5>

The behaviour is very straight forward: Each +byte has a color, so 1 byte increase is yellow, 2 bytes is green, 3 bytes is orange, and anything above 3 is red. This is a GSM antenna at 900Mhz and the video is taken by a mobile camera, so the closer the shot, the more red and orange the colors tend to be.Using the same logic as the lights video, this one makes different tones based on previous reading. You can hear the difference when the phone camera comes close. No? This is a 33cm GSM loop antenna for 900 MHz. Wire thickness is 1.5mm (less than that doesn’t work!)

Combining the sensor with a festive garment while converting data to cheangable noises, was a fun trial. Depending on the context this could be an interesting tool that bring in surprise, which eventually leads to action changes -- when we realize that mobiles do, really disturb our ambiant enegries, we won't, at least, sleep with out phones underneath our pillows!

This was rather a quick test, yet it was interesting to observe the sensor wifi readins within a park --it was very mild and stable.

Moving on, the next step was to make use of accidenta shapes, made of conductive material, while adding needed software, then we could end up in experiments around how the accidental can give voice, to the ever existing!