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Intel's drones broke a world record at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony

11 February 2018

US viewers tuned in to a tape-delayed broadcast on Friday night that showed rehearsal footage from December, when Intel's light show broke the Guinness World Record for flying the most drones, 1,280, simultaneously.

A record-setting 1,218 drones shot into the sky and traveled to a nearby ski slope, first taking on the shape of a moving snowboarder and later rearranging themselves into the iconic interlocking five Olympic rings.

"And while more drones does provide a broader canvas, it perhaps more importantly affords a better sense of depth".

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While the scale of the Olympics drone show was unprecedented and surely magical to watch, the slightly less sexy fine print is that it was a prerecorded performance, mainly to avoid the harsh weather conditions expected during the opening ceremony.

Each of Intel's foam and plastic drones is equipped with LED lights that can create more than 4 billion color combos. You might remember a similar spectacle at Lady Gaga's 2017 Super Bowl half-time show, but that only involved about 300 drones.

The record-breaking segment shown at the ceremony was actually pre-recorded, and featured a total of 1,218 drones flying together in sync, more than ever before.

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But Intel makes other types of drones for more traditional applications such as aerial photography and inspections, as well as the software platforms to go with them.

Following the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony, Intel ran a 30-second ad spot featuring the power of Intel Shooting Star drones and their unique entertainment possibilities.

"We are honored to have Intel drones playing several roles at the Olympic Games", Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager of Intel Drone Group, said in a news release.

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As impressive as the drone performance might be, Intel isn't done. That didn't keep the television network from highlighting the moment. One human employee, dubbed the pilot, hits a button on a computer to launch the automated show.

Intel's drones broke a world record at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony