Concept for swarming "display blocks"

Last week, I posted about Flyfire, an MIT research project to explore whether a swarm of tiny illuminated helicopters could form into a flying display screen. In a similar vein is Julia Yu Tsao's Curious Displays, her graduate thesis project last fall at Art Center College of Design. The video she made to demonstrate her vision is lovely and provocative. From the project page:

Curious Displays is a product proposal for a new platform for display technology. Instead of a fixed form factor screen, the display surface is instead broken up into hundreds of ½ inch display blocks. Each block operates independently as a self-contained unit, and has full mobility, allowing movement across any physical surface. The blocks operate independently of one another, but are aware of the position and role relative to the rest of the system. With this awareness, the blocks are able to coordinate with the other blocks to reconfigure their positioning to form larger display surfaces and forms depending on purpose and function. In this way, the blocks become a physical embodiment of digital media, and act as a vehicle for the physical manifestation of what typically exists only in the virtual space of the screen.

Curious Displays