The Invisible Universe

Short description

This is a different kind of transformative app. It does not really address any of the major challenges humanity face, but the kind of transparency provided and the need to look beyond direct economic benefits in every area makes this an interesting app.

The app is developed by Dr. Joshua Peek who is currently a Hubble Fellow at Columbia University where he studies the gaseous structure of galaxies.

Dr. Peek wanted to create a way for other people to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, so he built an app that showed the heavens in all their invisible glory: Gamma rays, X-rays, optical, far infrared, and radio wavelengths.

This app uses sky maps from data captured by all sorts of telescopes, from tiny satellites orbiting earth to gigantic radio telescopes in Australia, and assembled by astronomers around the world.

Read more about the app here

The best with the app/supporting initiative

+ Highlighting the beauty of the world
+ Making people aware of the fact that we only see a small part of the world around us
+ Encouraging people to learn more about areas that is about expanding the knowledge of humanity for the sake of knowledge nothing more and nothing less.

The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative

- No connections made between the functions of the app and the challenges humanity face
- No discussion about the role of knowledge in society and
- Only available for Android

What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?

➢ A discussion about what is important in society and the role of fields like astronomy to inspire people to explore and seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge without any economic gains.
➢ Explain how little we know about different things and how anyone can help contribute to more knowledge in different areas.
➢ Make the code free so that others can use the approach to visualize other areas more close to earth. It might be possible to use parts of the app to develop an augmented reality app that indicate how sustainable different stores are when we walk around.


How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Inspirational
  • Long shot


The app tries to inspire people to think more about space and it certainly inspire people to do that. The question is if people think beyond that.

Transformative approach

How transformative is it
  • A new world
  • A major shift
  • A bit of a shake-up
  • A gentle rocking


It is really the most simple of solutions and the fun thing is more related to the area than the approach.

How much does it encourage collaborations

How much are new networks supported
  • Strong support for global networks?
  • Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
  • Provides interesting opportunities in the future
  • Restricted to a small (expert) group


Now it does not contribute to very much, but hopefully it could explore collaboration in the future. Connecting people in areas that are not just simple gaming and social gossip would be very much welcome.

What synergies can be delivered

How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
  • It solves everything
  • Several important challenges
  • Some important challenges
  • Only one challenge


When transformative transparency takes off the world will change and this app can inspire non-commercial and innovative use of such transparency.

Nine billion contribution

How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
  • Instant global equality
  • Almost global
  • Getting (incrementally) global
  • Not applicable


If people care more about knowledge and the big questions we would reduce over-consumption, but it is not really happening though the current version of the app.

Building on current trends

How well does it use current trends
  • The app is setting new trends by itself
  • Building on multiple trends
  • Effectively building on one trend
  • Not really building on any major trend


Besides using some interesting augmented reality technology it is not really building on any trends. Hopefully it can contribute to a new trend where knowledge and research is higher on the agenda in society.


How fast can it deliver
  • It's already happening
  • In the coming weeks
  • In a year or so
  • In a distant future (hopefully)


Let’s keep our fingers crossed.


Does it support transformative transparency
  • Brave new transparency
  • Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
  • Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
  • No increase in transparency


The more apps that show different aspects of transparency the faster a transformative transparency will arrive.

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