Ubiquitous Display Possibilities with Flyfire

Flyfire, a project initiated by the SENSEable City Laboratory in collaboration with ARES Lab aims to transform any ordinary space into a highly immersive and interactive display environment.

In its first implementation, the Flyfire project sets out to explore the capabilities of this display system by using a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters. Each helicopter contains small LEDs 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.

Unlike traditional displays that can only be seen from the front, Flyfire becomes a three dimensional immersive display that can be experienced from all directions. This opens up countless possibilities to present data either in an ambient or explicit manner.

Flyfire is conceived as a public space installation, in which the pixels recharge every few minutes and then perform in space. The performance of the display is clearly dependent on the performance of the technology. Battery lifetime and wireless communication are key factors here. It aims to be a step towards ‘smart dust‘ — the idea that computing is becoming increasingly smaller, addressable, pervasive – and persuasive.

The look of Flyfire reminded me of NOVA, an installation at the central station in Zürich created by the Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zürich.

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