This Is What Wi-Fi Would Look Like, If We Could See It

If our airborne Internet wasn’t invisible, it might look something like these colorful energy fields.

Even though Wi-Fi is invisible, we know when it’s not working. Some people have even developed a bat-like sense of guessing where the signal is strongest and moving their laptops to that specific coffee shop table. But artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm wanted to know: what would Wi-Fi look like if we could see those waves pulsing the network to our computers? “I did a Google search that asked, ‘What if we could see Wi-Fi?’ and I couldn’t find anything, so I decided to make my own,” Lamm says.

That search eventually produced these images of what Wi-Fi would look like on the National Mall, which Lamm posted on With the help of a NASA astrobiologist, Lamm used 3-D shapes taken from a Washington, D.C. government map to recreate the size and frequency of the waves. As for the NASA connection, Lamm explains that he simply put out a call for help on Craigslist. M. Browning Vogel, an astrobiology Ph.D. who worked at NASA Ames for five years, helped Lamm out.

“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.

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