Pre-recorded drone show airs amid technical issues at Winter Olympics
Intel Corp. had to ditch plans to deploy 300 small drones during the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony because of logistical challenges. Instead, pre-recorded footage of 1,218 drone launched during a rehearsal in December in Pyeongchang, South Korea was broadcasted to U.S. viewers.
Intel noted the occasion by tweeting, “More than 1,200 drones. One amazing show. See how our drone team pulled off a Guinness World Records title for the Opening Ceremony.”
The video broadcasted during the Open Ceremony featured drones taking the shape of the Olympic rings, a snowboarder and a dove. NBC aired the footage, tweeting on its official @NBCOlympics page: “A swarm of drones brings us one of the most incredible sights of the #OpeningCeremony.”
Switching to previously aired footage of the performance echoed a similar incident at the Sochi Games in 2014, where one of the five Olympic rings failed to light up properly. As as result, the Russian state television broadcasted rehearsal footage of the event instead.
“During the Ceremony, POCOG made the decision to not go ahead with the show because there were too many spectators standing in the area where the live drone show was supposed to take place,” according to a statement from the Olympic organizing committee.
Intel agreed to scale back the number of drones from 1,218, as seen in the footage, to 300 for the Opening Ceremony. Although those plans had to be scrapped, the company did put on an Olympic light show at the Pyeongchang medal ceremony.
According to Intel, its Shooting Star drones, which were used in the pre-recorded footage, feature built-in LED lights that can create more than 4 billion color combinations in the sky. While the production aired did not take place during the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, it did break a previous record set by Intel in Germany in 2016 for most drones flown at one time.
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