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Intel’s Drone Show During the Opening Ceremonies Wasn’t Live, But it Was Still Pretty Impressive

It’s rare that the attendees of a live event miss out on something everyone watching on TV gets to see, but that’s what just happened last night. If you watched NBC’s coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies, you caught a pretty awesome sight — over 1,000 lighted drones choreographed to take different shapes, like the Olympic rings. No such luck if you were actually in PyeongChang — the drone show on the telecast was pre-recorded, and the planned live version had to be scrapped at the last minute.

Regardless, it was quite the spectacle — using some careful programming and planning, Intel created airborne images, including the Olympic rings and a snowboarder, with 1,218 quadcopter drones equipped with LED lights. One of the highlights was a dove in flight, with the drones moving to make it look like the dove was flying!

Intel filmed the show in advance, but still had planned to do a scaled down version live during the Opening Ceremonies. Reportedly, they weren’t able to because of sudden “logistical challenges” — it’s possible those were related to the windy and extremely cold conditions, but not necessarily.

Next page: Intel’s been getting pretty good at these!

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