Intel drones stole the show at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Intel drones stole the show at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Intel drones stole the show at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Though the show presented during the opening ceremony wasn't actually live-it was reportedly filmed in December-the spectacle was impressive.

Several hours before the start of the ceremony, Intel chief strategy officer Aicha Evans told USA TODAY that they planned to launch 300 drones during the tail-end of the ceremony.

"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 ideal outline and shape in the sky", says Natalie Cheung, Intel's general manager of drone light shows.

The drones themselves were just a foot long and weighed eight ounces, but thanks to Intel's Shooting Star service, which controls the drones in unison, more than a thousand can take to the sky to create visual experiences.

The synchronized drone show has gotten the public wondering about the mechanics behind the performance, which will be added to the Guinness World Records for the "most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously". They'll pop up throughout the Winter Olympics during medal ceremonies.

The Intel Shooting Star drone is a quadcopter that weighs 330 grams, and is constructed with a soft frame made of flexible plastics and foam.

This time around it included a light show performance from Intel that used a record-setting 1,218 drones, all flying in sync to create imagery including the interlocking Olympic rings and sports events like snowboarding. "One fantastic show. See how our drone team pulled off a Guinness World Records title for the 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.

Previously, South Korea's PyeongChang Olympics Organizing Committee has pledged to make the Olympics an "ICT Olympics" that highlights Korea's technological prowess on diverse fronts, be it the next-generation 5G network or robotics.

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