As part of the VIS'14 Workshop Death of the Desktop, infovis researcher Wesley Willett imagines how nano drone swarms may be used in 2033 both to capture and visualize data directly in the real world:
At barely 1.5 centimeters across, each Cetonia scarab is a marvel of precision engineering. Designed from the ground up for agile flight, their integrated hydrogen chambers and a high-efficiency hover mode permit 15+ minutes of air time between charges. The hueSHIFT carapace is capable of displaying over 22 million possible colors and provides clear visual feedback in day or night with visibilities up to 1.5 kilometers. Integrated camera and sensor arrays permit full 6D reconstructions with composition profiling. From your wrist or a personal field station you can quickly deploy flights in automated formations to survey, measure, record, and manipulate almost anything.
Source: Wesley Willett (2014) Cetonia – A Dynamic Swarm at your Fingertips.