The infosphere, Visualized.
Every time we use our phones, tablets or laptops we are entering an invisible world of wireless digital signals. It is a world that we cannot see but that is literally all around us.
The Architecture of Radio is a 360 degree data visualization of what this world might look like. It shows the cell towers, GPS satellites and Wi-Fi routers around you that allow us to live our digital lives.
New: Cardboard support!
Immerse yourself in the Infosphere in Virtual Reality using a cardboard or compatible headset*
*Carboard support only for iPhone. iPhone 6 or newer recommended for best performance.
Why should I use this app?
Out of curiosity! We are increasingly dependent on a global ecosystem of digital signals. We use them for so many things, yet we cannot see them. We can see the roads we use to travel, the buildings we live in, but not the infrastructure that is changing the world. How can we understand this world without understanding how it works?
The purpose of this app is to make the invisible visible so we can look at it, think about it and discuss it.
Why Should I not use this app?
This app is not a measurement tool. It’s purpose is to inspire, to see the world through a different lens. The app is based on real world data and gives you a pretty good idea of the density of digital signals around you, but it won’t tell you where to move the couch to get a better WIFI signal.
So how does it work?
The Architecture of Radio is a data visualization, based on global open datasets of cell tower, Wi-Fi and satellite locations. Based on your GPS location the app shows a 360 degree visualization of signals around you. The dataset includes almost 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and hundreds of satellites.
Is this really what radio signals look like?
We can’t see radio with our eyes. The waves that we use for our cell phones and Wi-Fi are way outside the spectrum of visible light. In order to “see” radio, it has to be interpreted or translated into an image that we can see. There are many ways to do that but it will always be an interpretation.
The Architecture of Radio is an impression of the infosphere, a way of seeing it.
Ratings and Reviews
Understand how the app works before buying it
I was expecting a bit more, but that was because I did not consider how the app obtains its data. It’s probably not possible to have the device itself analyze the signals around you, so instead it determines your location and provides details based on publicly-available information. Still, I wish it would at least accurately determine where my wifi access points are located based on signal strength. I can stand right next to one of my access points and they do not even appear on the screen. Likewise, there is a cellular repeater about 100 meters from me; it detects it, but only when I aim the device in the opposite direction.
I wish there were more options. Likewise, it was not immediately clear what the “cardboard” feature was for until I read the app’s description. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from downloading this app who finds the underlying concept interesting.
Should have read more.
Was looking for an app that could show me my nearby Access points and Mobile towers with a bit more detail. Does not appear to use any kind of active detection as the router right on the wall fails to appear to the app, and the depth of the app is strictly surface deep.
You get what you see and no more, no less. No signal strength, no network name, no useful information beyond “hey here’s a thing, it kinda does this, neato huh!?”
Paying 3 bucks for an app usually isn’t a big deal but more functionality was what I thought it inferred
Not only does it show the cell towers and communications towers, it shows GPS satellites in space! Goes to show how useful the sensors in the iPhone are! Good work, looking forward to updates.!
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.