Ever wondered what those invisible radio waves would look like if they weren’t, well, invisible? Or maybe you fancied having some high tech sci-fi cyborg eyes that would let you see those radio waves. If so, then maybe you’d be interested in this new app called Architecture of Radio, now available for purchase on iOS. The app is really simple in its function but beautiful in its execution, creating a visual representation of cell towers, Wi-Fi, and satellite locations as well as the waves of communication that happens between them.
To be clear, this does not actually make visible those invisible radio waves. That would, at least with current technology, be an impossibility. The app only offers an interpretation of those signals that are being sent out of sources of radio waves.
What is fact, however, are the locations of those sources. Technically speaking, the app is a visualization of the locations of cell towers and satellites, at least based on global open datasets. That set includes about 7 million cell towers and 19 million Wi-Fi routers, not to mention even hundreds of satellites now orbiting the earth.
While more presentational than informational, the app does present an interesting, if not picturesque, overview of the landscape of wireless communication that happens around us. Think of it like Google Maps, but for radio signals. Its visualization also represents how dense signals are, at least based on gathered data. As it is not real-time, the app isn’t useful for measuring network speeds or determining where to best position your devices.
The Architecture of Radio app is now available on iTunes App Store for iPhones and iPads and carries a $2.99 price tag. It won’t be until early next year before Android users get their hands on it.
Download: Architecture of Radio