SignalStrength is a wearable device that translates EMF signals (such as those from cell phones, power lines, microwaves, radio and TV) into a tactile experience by manifesting these signals as vibro-haptic feedback to the wearer. The device also uploads their position information via GPS and the source and strength of the fields to an online database. The data is collected and cataloged in real-time to construct a full scale map of EMF effected areas worldwide.
How do we experience the invisible fields around us? What is our relationship to communication systems as they inhabit and share our space but are invisible to the naked eye? How do these fields affect our bodies, moods, activities, sense of awareness and personal space? SignalStrength is a device that extends personal awareness of the invisible ‘polutants’ in our environment both locally and globally. Users experience immediate tactile feedback while simultaneuously informing others of their finding by updating a global database of effected areas.
picture of prototype circuit.
The system exists as an EMF Gaussmeter with an amplified signal to detect incoming EMF frequencies up to 60Hz. 2.5mG is the average safe level of EMF exposure to humans. The device is integrated in existing wearables – such as a wristwatch. I am using a BX24 to take in analog voltage from the Gaussmeter and translater it to corresponding pulses to a tiny circular pager motor. The system then takes a GPS reading of the device’s position and relays the information via a wireless link to a central database. The database updates an online map of the area and positions it on a global map.
Below is a step-by-step model of the system:
1. User out in the world
2. Device senses EMF signals from anchored and mobile locations<
3. Device gives direct vibro-haptic feedback to skin
4. Relays GPS location information to server
5. Updates world map on location of signals, strength (mG), and plots coordinates