Winter Olympics opening ceremony sees Intel use record 1218 drones

Record-breaking drone show lights up Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Using Intel's 3-D animator tools and simulation software, the company choreographed the flight patterns and coded the drones to display a fraction of their possible 4 billion color combinations.

"In order to create a real and lifelike version of the snowboarder with more than 1,200 drones, our animation team used a photo of a real snowboarder in action to get the flawless outline and shape in the sky", says Natalie Cheung, Intel's general manager of drone light shows.

The Winter Olympics rehearsal surpassed Intel's 2016 Guinness World Record of 500 drones flown simultaneously in Germany.

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As impressive as the drone performance might be, Intel isn't done. They weigh less than a pound.

"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. "We wanted to do something the world has never seen before".

Adding further excitement to the performance, hundreds of South Korean snowboarders, clad in jumpsuits flashing with LED lights, slid down the slopes with the drones flashing above them, creating a high-tech, futuristic atmosphere. NBC tweeted on its official @NBCOlympics page: "A swarm of drones brings us one of the most incredible sights of the #OpeningCeremony".

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The live show was meant to be a pared down version of the feat, with 300 drones flying at the end of the opening ceremony, but that too was scrapped.

Intel, which believes its drones could one day replace fireworks, tested its drones in Finland to prepare for the cold temperatures in Pyeongchang. Intel's record-setting drone show as prerecorded but the company will be putting up smaller drones shows every evening during the event, weather permitting.

In addition, its drones were featured in a pre-taped segment for the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Lady Gaga.

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