Winter Olympics opening ceremony sees Intel use record 1218 drones

Armchair Olympians

The International Olympic Committee spokesperson said, "Due to impromptu logistical changes it (drone deployment) did not proceed".

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. The performance also surpassed the 300-drone salute that was pre-recorded with Lady Gaga for Super Bowl LI a year ago.

Intel is among the corporate sponsors for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang that are taking the opportunity to promote its products and services before the global audience.

Intel planned for an ornate light display involving drones at the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Friday, but the company had some trouble getting its show off the ground.

Intel says the Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the 1,218-drone performance as setting the record for "most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously".

In addition to the opening ceremony, the drones will be used throughout the games, creating light-filled formations every night from February 10 to February 24 during the nightly victory ceremonies. Intel told Wired that it needed to use an actual snowboarded in position to ensure the drones were properly configured to resemble the athlete in the sky.

In fact, the tech giant launched 1,280 of its drones in December in Pyeongchang and pre-recorded the light show that aired on NBC's tape-delayed broadcast in the United States. All the drones for the shows are controlled by one computer and one drone pilot. "However, that was not the case, which was pretty disappointing", she said.

Not surprisingly, the drone performance required a significant amount of preparation.

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