Invisible Forces

Anthony DeVincenzi (co-authors: Kane Hsieh, David Lakatos)

What surrounds us? More than what we can see, touch, and feel. Beyond atmosphere, particular and solid matter, our bodies encounter many forms of invisible radiation: electromagnetic, wifi, gsm, audio and white noise. The Invisible Forces project provides a framework for the measurement and spatial mapping of radiation.

Below: Variable amounts of depth of field and focal range applied to the drill's EMF readings

Below: Wireless electromagnetic field sensor

Below: Stage, from top to bottom - object, sensor, kinect, application (openFrameworks)


The current implementation measures stray electromagnetic fields emitted from electrically charged objects.

A custom circuit, outfitted with a 1mH coil probe reads fluctuations in the EM field and wirelessly returns the intensity through serial to the host application. The circuit is "zeroed" by software to ignore ambient readings that may differ from space to space. Once readings of significant values are received, serial data is transmitted from the circuit via a bluetooth shield onboard an Arduino Pro.

The application was written in c++ using openFrameworks and openKinect. The probe is tracked as a blog in CV, using color detection algorithms and thresholding - this determines the X,Y position of the sensor. The Z position is derived from the Kinect's depth map. Readings are stored as points in an XML file, rendered as vertices in openGL, and then piped through a depth of field shader. Camera controls are relative to the Kinect's calibration and point cloud.


Liftlab: Mapping EMF around everyday devices by Anthony DeVincenzi

USC School of Cinematic Arts: Mobile Media

Thanks to David Lakatos (MIT Media lab), Matthew Blackshaw (MIT Media lab), and Kane Hsieh (Harvard)

Invisible Forces was awarded as a top project in MAS.831, Computational Camera and Photography taught by professor Ramesh Raskar at the MIT Media Lab.