Here’s What The World Would Look Like If We Could See Wi-Fi Signals


Ben Taub

Freelance Writer

clockNov 14 2015, 15:26 UTC
3694 Here’s What The World Would Look Like If We Could See Wi-Fi Signals
Luis Hernan's Kirlian Device illuminates invisible wireless signals. Luis Hernan via Digital Ethereal

It may not be apparent to the naked eye, but in our modern world of wireless communication and Internet-connected devices, we’re constantly spinning convoluted labyrinths of invisible signals that engulf us like flies in the web of some ghostly spider. In this stunning series of images created by a Ph.D. candidate with the Architecture and Digital Design Group at Newcastle University, it’s actually possible to see what some of these imperceptible entities look like, revealing the surreal beauty of our digital world.

The images are created using the Kirlian Device, invented by Luis Hernan as part of his Digitally Ethereal project. Consisting of an LED panel, the tool detects the strength of Wi-Fi signals and converts these into colored displays, with the weakest signals appearing blue and the strongest appearing red. By taking long-exposure shots of himself moving the device around, Hernan was able to document the contours of local networks, revealing the fluctuations in signal strength through space.


The device is named after Kirlian photography, a technique that captures electrical discharges in the air around objects, therefore making them appear as though they are surrounded by a ghostly aura. While many have falsely claimed that the process detects spiritual presences, the reality is that these charges are created by passing high-voltage frequencies through a metal plate in order to ionize the surrounding air particles.

Images: Wireless signals illuminated using Luis Hernan's Kirlian Device. Hernan Luis via Digital Ethereal

  • tag
  • photography,

  • wireless,

  • art,

  • Wi-Fi,

  • signal,

  • network