Intel Closes 2018 Winter Olympic Games With 300-Drone Light Show

The tech company broke a record with its Opening Ceremony drone light show and is ready to send viewers off right with another one tonight.

Jan Kruger/ Getty Images

Intel broke a Guinness World Record when its 1,218 Shooting Star drone light show—pre-recorded and broadcast during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremony—left viewers in awe. It seems only appropriate then for the tech company to play a part in the Closing Ceremony by orchestrating another performance, this time comprised of 300 LED-fitted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) whirring above the stadium in PyeongChang. According to Intel, the choreographed drone fleet formed aerial illustrations like the Olympic mascot, a white tiger named Soohorang, running into place and celebrating the athletes.

According to Natalie Cheung, general manager of the Intel drone light show division, Soohorang represents the kind of fortitude and discipline found in both the attending athletes and Intel itself. “Just like Soohorang, our Intel drones team has a challenging spirit and passion to push the limits and make amazing experiences possible,” said Cheung. “It’s been an honor to celebrate such magnificent athleticism and teamwork with Intel drone light shows, and a victory for us to see our animations of the games come to life.” Intel’s Shooting Star drones employed here were reportedly utilized to celebrate the Olympians on a nightly basis as well when weather permitted by aerially forming other shapes such as the PyeongChang logo, skiers, hockey players, and more. 

While we’ve seen Intel produce quite a few of these UAV light shows in recent months such as yet another record-breaking performance at CES 2018 last month, the technology and streamlined process here continues to impress. If we see this Shooting Star system—where hundreds of UAVs are controlled by a single operator—continue to evolve, we might be looking at a significant shift in various industries. When movie studios are celebrating their home-video releases with Intel’s drones, and halftime shows are drawing viewers in with them,it’s likely we’ll see quite a few more Shooting Stars in the future. 

You can watch the 2018 Winter Olympic Games Closing Ceremony on NBC at 8:00 p.m. EST / 5:00 p.m. Pacific.