Thinking back to how far we have come with drone light shows is surreal.
It’s hard to believe that a hallway conversation two years ago has become an entirely new entertainment concept – illuminating nighttime skies with drone-powered light shows – dazzling audiences at major sporting events, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Vivid Sydney, and now in celebration of an iconic superhero. From our small beginnings with Drone 100 to showcasing our technology to children and families, millennials, CEOs, prime ministers and presidents alike – across oceans and in more than 10 countries, and becoming part of the biggest entertainment moments of the past year, we transformed the light shows from a pie-in-the-sky idea to a remarkable reality.
Our drone light shows feature the Intel® Shooting Star™ drone, the first-ever drone created for entertainment light shows. With this technology, brands have the power to brighten up the night sky with a choreographed light show with hundreds of Intel Shooting Star drones. These drones are equipped with LED lights that can create more than 4 billion color combinations and can be easily programmed to create almost any dazzling animation in the sky.
We are constantly exploring where we can take these light shows next, and we look for inspiration from all forms of entertainment. When I saw “Wonder Woman” on opening night back in June, I left the movie feeling energized – a similar feeling to when our drones create magic in the sky. So, when Warner Bros.* and Ultra Productions* approached us to take their promotion of the “Wonder Woman” home entertainment release to new heights, it was a no-brainer to collaborate on a custom-animated light show that would leave viewers with that same awe-inspired feeling I felt after leaving the theater.
Seeing this vision come to life in the Los Angeles sky was such an exciting moment for us here at Intel, especially for my all-female operations team that made it possible. This innovative, futuristic show was perfectly accompanied by a live performance with celebrated cellist Tina Guo, which made for a truly spectacular experience. As 300 Intel drones showcased imagery from the box office blockbuster, we were able to take a step back and watch as our drones once again captivated audiences. The sky is really the limit when it comes to new forms of entertainment that Intel technology can create.
As I watched the fleet launch, I felt knots of pure excitement and joy. What’s so incredible to me is that a simple hallway conversation has led to working with world-class entertainment brands and companies, changed the landscape of nighttime entertainment, and created amazing experiences that have never been seen before – and all of this was engineered by our small yet brilliant Intel team.
My team and I are committed to scaling these light shows globally, continuing to push the boundaries of what’s possible in entertainment, showcasing how drones can be used differently and making our mark on the industry. Bringing the energy of “Wonder Woman” to life with a nighttime spectacle or performing our shows for the prime minister of Singapore and president of Indonesia is something I never would have dreamed of creating – and it’s now very much a reality. These are perfect examples of the way our drone light shows are opening doors for us, giving us new opportunities and access to events at which we normally might not have a presence and strategically partnering with brands with which we normally might not have the chance to work. We see a tremendous opportunity to work with strategic partners to reimagine what the intersection of entertainment and technology can become. We are so excited to see where this amazing technology will take us next.
Natalie Cheung is general manager of drone light shows in the Intel Drone Group at Intel Corporation.
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