If you’ve wanted to put on your own drone light show but have no actual technical skills, you likely won’t need any in 2024 anyway. That’s because Verge Aero is set to roll out software that’s effectively Drone Light Show for Dummies, called Verge Aero Composer.
The drone light show company recently announced its new Verge Aero Composer software tool, and it’s specifically intended to “lower the barrier to entry for the drone show industry.”
It’s a drag-and-drop interface that makes it possible to put together a drone show in what the company claims to be “seconds” — all with no technical experience necessary.
Nils Thorjussen, CEO of Verge Aero, said the software is primarily targeting smaller players who might want to put on drone shows, such as small towns, existing businesses or beginning entrepreneurs. After all, it’s become increasingly more popular to see drone shows at things like community July Fourth events, or to augment things like local Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. And given how drones are more environmentally friendly (and can also net out to be cheaper) than the most stereotypical alternative, fireworks, this newly-launched idiot-proof software could be welcome to everything from budding entrepreneurs to environmentalists to event planners.
“Our goal at Verge Aero is to democratize this very technical and nascent industry with a high barrier to entry,” said Nils Thorjussen, CEO of Verge Aero, in a prepared statement. “As we’ve continued to expand our offerings through 2023, we’re thrilled to be able to bring Verge Aero Composer to the market, greatly enhancing the ability for individuals to become drone show operators, going from an idea to the sky in really a matter of minutes.”
Verge Aero claims that the software further cuts down on the amount of time needed to design a drone show — going from hours to just seconds.
How Verge Aero Composer works
It’s a pretty straightforward solution that operates almost exactly as it sounds.
Once you have the software loaded on your computer, you’ll have access to a library of designs and show elements. Drag those into a timeline — much like you’d edit a video using a simple editing tool like iMovie — and you can pull together a full show. And to make it at least a bit less cookie cutter, you can further customize your drone display with personalized logos and text.
Of course, keep in mind that the software is fairly basic, so don’t expect to match the quality that you might expect from performances such as those that were recently named the best drone light shows of 2023.
But for people new to the drone industry, or small businesses looking to break into drone light shows (as well as simply organizations like small
The Verge Aero Composer is intentionally designed to integrate with the company’s other software products which include:
- Verge Aero Design Studio: for designing shows
- Verge Aero Flight Control Hub: the control center for the flight planning for a user’s fleet
- Verge Aero’s Skystream app: delivers branding opportunities for operators and can send synchronized audio to spectators’ devices.
Consider it the final piece in rounding out Verge Aero’s software offerings. People seeing to go deeper into design might still use the full-featured Design Studio. Of course Verge Aero Control Hub is essential for flying the drones, while the Skystream app is an audience-friendly way to offer audio streaming directly to audiences phones in sync with performances.
And of course, all that software is there to supplement the star of Verge Aero’s product offerings: the X7 drone itself. The Verge X7 drone launched in October 2023 a an upgraded version of the former X1 model. In the transfer from X1 to X7, Verge Aero added more compact storage for easier transportation, faster battery charging, longer battery life, more precise GPS capabilities and bolstered wind and rain resistance. It also honed in on user-friendly enhancements to the integrated control software — which leads to the latest news around Verge Aero Composer.
The Verge Aero Composer was introduced at the LDI Conference in Las Vegas, which is shaping up to be the hub for all things drone light shows. Also during that conference, SPH Engineering seized the opportunity to name the winners of its 4th Annual International Drone Show Competition. The conference also entailed an actual drone light show — this one put on by the folks at Sky Elements Drones (Sky Elements uses drones made by light show drone maker Uvify, which is a competitor of sorts to Verge Aero).
The software isn’t ready just yet. It won’t be available for subscribers until February 2024. As for the subscription fee, it’s $60 per drone annually. So, for a drone light show company with $100 drones, that’d shake out to $6,000. Though, it’s included for customers who already pay for Verge Aero Design Studio, which is effectively the advanced version of the new Composer software.
And perhaps not surprisingly, you also need to buy the actual Verge Aero drones in order to use the software — it won’t work with any other light show drone. While there is no minimum package for Verge Aero drones, you likely wouldn’t buy just one. Most drone light shows entail 100 — if not many hundreds — of drones flying in the air at one time. Verge Aero won’t disclose how much a drone costs, but you can get more information about purchasing Verge Aero systems through the company’s website.