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ThinkGeek Wifi-detector shirt

The Wifi Detector shirt is a very cool interactive T-shirt offered by ThinkGeek.com you can check it out and order it at http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/991e/

It will detect the signal strength of nearby wifi signals and display the signal strength on the shirt! Very cool indeed

However there are many questions left unanswered so lets take a look at the system and see exactly how it works.

Does it work?
Well it does detect nearby wifi and display the signal strength.

It seems to display randomly though it does not seem to always be the nearest signal that it displays.

Encrypted/Unencrypted networks

What does it display? It displays both encrypted and unencrypted signals so even when it shows a strong signal it doesn't mean you can access the network.

Interference and other signals

Although it says that it is a wifi-detector shirt, the shirt actually detects more than just wifi-signals. The signal may not be a wireless network at all! The circuit that runs the shirt actually doesn't check to see if the signal is a wireless network or not, instead it recieves any signal that is in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. What this means is that it will also pick up signals that are not wireless networks such as Bluetooth signals, if two bluetooth devices are communicating then the shirt will display the signal strength of the bluetooth devices. It will also show other 2.4 GHz signals such as microwave signals. try it out turn the shirt on go stand next to your microwave and turn it on, the signal strength will show a full signal strength due to the circuit receiving the microwave signals coming from your microwave!

The circuit

The circuit is inside the battery pack. The area circled with red is the antenna if someone wants to extend the range they can add a connector much like I did with the bluetooth dongle in my other tutorial on this site. Then you can add different antennas to increase the range because the standard antenna does not receive from very far away.

I was expecting to find a standard network adapter like you would find in a laptop when I opened it up, this was before I found it detecdts all 2.4 GHz signals. The area circled in yellow is an embedded microprocessor that controls the board. it is responsible for collecting the 2.4 GHz sinals from the surrounding area. Not much is known at this time about the microprocessor at this time. Later I may order one of these shirts and try to extract the firmware that runs the circuit.

Overall though the wifi-detector shirt is very unique and the perfect pick for your geekware and at just 19.99 it is well worth the buy and is sure to turn some heads.

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