Soon we will be able to walk 'through' pie charts, or be physically entangled in network graphs.
FireflyFlyfire [senseable.mit.edu] imagines the display possibilities when implementing pixels as freely flying pixels. Its ultimate goal is to transform any ordinary space into a highly immersive and interactive display environment.
The display system consists of a large number of self-organizing micro-helicopters. Each helicopter contains small LED lights and acts as a "smart" pixel. Through precisely controlled movements, the helicopters perform elaborate and synchronized motions and form an elastic display surface for any desired scenario. The motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time, so that the Flyfire canvas is able to transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape.
Watch the demonstration movie below.
While the researchers figure out how to synchronize the simultaneous flight of hundreds of tiny helicopters, you can experience its visual potential by watching a similar concept, but then with hundreds of pixels hung on fine threads.
Via Data Visualization.