Blue Paint

an Android app for visualizing Bluetooth signals

Bluetooth is a technology we rely upon almost every day to connect devices to our phones, tablets, laptops, IoT devices, and all kinds of other tools. But Bluetooth is a highly intangible, untouchable technology. Almost all of us have at least one Bluetooth peripheral in our homes, like speakers, headphones, vehicle entertainment systems, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. However, considering how integral Bluetooth is to our daily technology usage, it is very difficult to answer even seemingly basic questions about the Bluetooth connections are almost always using:

  • How does distance from a Bluetooth peripheral affect our Bluetooth connection?
  • What kinds of obstacles can interfere with Bluetooth signals?
  • How do you optimally locate a Bluetooth device to provide the strongest connection to your phone?

Blue Light is an Android application that allows us to visualize the invisible Bluetooth signals all around us using long exposure photography. The app measures the strength of a Bluetooth connection and displays that strength using a color scale. When recorded in a long-exposure photograph, the motion of a phone running the Blue Paint app in the space surrounding a Bluetooth device results in a kind of heat map of Bluetooth signal strength. That visualization can be used as an overlay on top of a normal photograph of a Bluetooth device to create Bluetooth signal strength visualizations.

A normal photograph of a Bluetooth device…

… can be combined with a long exposure photograph created with the Blue Paint app…

… to create an image showing the strength of a Bluetooth signal in the space surrounding the device.

Bose Soundlink Mini II Speaker