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Dutch maker Mike Thompson designed and built this Wi-Fi dowsing rod by joining old and new to deliver a whimsically arcane device.

Todays technology advances at such a speed that often consumers are left in awe of it all. The high tech terminology, the ultra small, ultra portable, metallic or white devices we carry around with us are, to the vast amount of consumers, simply baffling. The Wifi Dowsing Rod aims to work against this. By basing the design for a wireless internet detector on century’s old technology, the user feels immediately at home with the product, whilst feeling less intimidated by the simple shape and natural materials.

[via techchee]

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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Comments

  1. Kevin says:

    This is a very cool device, but just for the record: Dowsing is not “century’s old technology” – it’s century’s old crap.

    1. Bayne says:

      Very nice device. My grandfather was a dowser and quite a good one at that. I assume that Kevin is just calling dowsing “crap” without any direct experience or any sort of research but I could be wrong.

      1. Adam Flaherty says:

        I said it was arcane…

        http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3A+arcane

        Kevin’s right about it being crap.

  2. Bayne says:

    I find it amusing that people immediately disregard many “arcane sciences” in the same way as many folks are happy to dismiss new technologies. The reason for this device is to make people more at ease with the new technology and yet we have so many who would not be at ease with this old “technology”.
    In these posts we have an example of this; decrying an old technology (I am assuming out of ignorance and not any hard evidence although I’m sure you can google up some essays on the subject) in the same way as many decry new technologies…kinda of like being a reverse hillbilly…technobilly maybe?
    I honestly don’t care if people think dowsing is “crap” or they practice every weekend between games of horseshoes; I just think there’s an interesting distinction in there somewhere.

    1. Adam Flaherty says:

      Please, explain the science behind dowsing. I want to know.

  3. lowbot says:

    There is no science of dowsing. Every double-blind study has shown nothing but chance. Heck, the claims of dowsers are ridiculous on their face. If they think they can find electrical lines they can, or water, or buried treasure, or graves, anything. So its a claim of psychic powers. Nothing more. None of these things have anything in common so there’s no scientific thesis for them that even begins to make sense.

    Turns out its just our old friend confirmation bias. Shame adults cant accept that and dismiss these myths from their minds. Science and critical thinking education in the US is really what we all need, more so than a wifi dowser, although that would be nice also.

    1. Adam Flaherty says:

      I am aware of no science associated with dowsing and do not expect any proof to the contrary.

  4. Kevin says:

    I like the idea of this project because it puts something very high tech, and difficult to understand (wireless)into something extremely low tech (a stick). I’m all for making people more at ease with technology. I just wish we could leave dowsing out of this. The magic of dowsing is not needed.

    I am not decrying dowsing out of ignorance. I have been unable to find any evidence that “dowsing” is a technology. None of the many studies that I have read show any effect greater than chance. If you have evidence of “successful dowsing” I would love to see it.

    1. Adam Flaherty says:

      I think that’s what’s appealing about this piece. It’s a known user interface that has been accepted by many people, regardless of technology or magic. Here, at least, you can explain how it works. It’s irreverent, functional art.

      Would we accept it differently if it was in the form of a magic wand? What is it that makes dowsing rods “technology” and magic wands “magic”?

  5. Bayne says:

    I’m amazed that someone has actually read many studies on dowsing…kudos…truly. My point was that simply saying something is “crap” with no backup is…well…uncool I suppose. Especially something that many people still have some faith in. I quit smoking last week…gimme a break. Nice to see a lively discourse arise though.

    1. Linus says:

      Any proposition advanced without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
      (Attributed to Christopher Hitchens.)

    2. Adam Flaherty says:

      Perhaps “crap” was offensive? You could easily substitute “hokum”, “malarkey”, “nonsense”, or “rubbish” and the outcome would still be the same. The burden of proof is on that which has none. It’s implied. No faith or backup required.

      http://xkcd.com/54/

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