On a cold October night in the quiet industrial town of Krailling, Germany, a single blinking drone flew into the air. The distant light was soon joined by 499 more, lighting up in the shape of the number 500.
They then flew to new positions, this time spelling out the word “Intel.”
The light show was a proof of concept for Intel Corp.’s leap into the drones-as-entertainment business. Intel on Friday announced a drone called the “Shooting Star,” a flying contraption about the weight of a volleyball that can light up in 4 billion color combinations for commercial entertainment light shows.
With that, Intel set a record for the Guinness Book of World Records. Intel now holds the World Record for having “The Most UAVs Airborne Simultaneously” with 500 Intel Shooting Star drones lighting up the night sky – out-doing the company’s own previous record of 100 drones in-flight simultaneously.
Intel’s drones are not publicly for sale, and the chip maker would not disclose how much they would cost. For now, the drones are proof of the ability to automate multiple drone flights at once, using software that could be adapted to commercial applications like mapping or inspections.
“We want to showcase that drones can be used for something different,” said Natalie Cheung, Intel’s product manager for unmanned aerial vehicles. “I can’t imagine how you would manually place 500 drones in the air for a five-minute show,” Cheung said. “And while 100 is amazing, 500 is breathtaking.”