Drones make for spectacular effects at Opening Ceremony

They were stars in the sky. They were a bird of prey in flight. They were a snowboarder cruising down a mountain. They were the Olympic rings.

Drones, all 1,218 of them, were everywhere and a little bit of everything on Friday night during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang Games, making for some rather remarkable visual effects.

The Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang Games was a spectacle to behold. (Getty)




The Opening Ceremony was not first occasion in which drones have been used for aesthetic effect. Lady Gaga’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl deployed a number of them, and they have also been used to resemble a twinkling Christmas tree in Disney’s Starbright Holidays and a waving American flag. But the 1,218 drones — all Intel products — deployed on Friday night entered a new territory for drone use, setting a Guinness World Record.

The previous record, which had also been set by Intel, was 500 drones used in a light show in Germany in October. While this may be the first Opening Ceremony to feature drones as an integral part of the aesthetics, it is not the only aspect of these Games in which drones will play a part.

Of the myriad security measures in place for the Games, one such is drone-catching drones, which are designed to catch rogue drones by deploying a net.

On Friday night, however, they were merely for our entertainment, and indeed what a show they proved capable of putting on.

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