Winter Olympics: Drone display in opening ceremony was pre-recorded

Record-breaking drone show lights up Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Intel put on an Olympic light show with 1218 drones

Each drone weighs about as much as a volleyball and is fitted with LEDs that can beam any shape with 4 billion color combinations.

"In order to create a real and lifelike version of the snowboarder with more than 1,200 drones, our animation team used a photo of a real snowboarder in action to get the ideal outline and shape in the sky", says Natalie Cheung, Intel's general manager of drone light shows.

Though the show presented during the opening ceremony wasn't actually live-it was reportedly filmed in December-the spectacle was impressive.

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The Winter Olympics' first-ever drone light show has earned Intel the title from Guinness World Records for the "most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously".

But during Friday's evening broadcast, Intel will also organize the drones to resemble a snowboarder racing down a slope. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said Saturday that the drones were not deployed Friday night because of an "impromptu logistical change".

"Through this close collaboration with the Olympic family, we will accelerate the adoption of technology for the future of sports on the world's largest athletic stage".

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The live show was meant to be a pared down version of the feat, with 300 drones flying at the end of the opening ceremony, but that too was scrapped. Everything is managed from a central computer system, which coordinates the drones on the fly based on things like individual battery life and GPS signal.

Intel, which believes its drones could one day replace fireworks, tested its drones in Finland to prepare for the cold temperatures in Pyeongchang. They followed up a show with 100 drones in Germany in 2015 with a performance featuring 500 of the bots the next year - obviously this tech is just getting smarter and smarter. The drones swirled above Gaga and took the shape of the US flag as she sung God Bless America.

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