Intel CEO Believes Drones Could Replace Fireworks Soon: Here's A Small Taste Of The Future

17 January 2016, 6:57 pm EST By Dave Calpito Tech Times
Intel and Austria's Ars Electronica Futurelab collaborated to set a new Guinness World Record for conducting the Most Unmanned Arial Vehicles Airborne Simultaneously. Intel's chief believes drones will replace fireworks in the near future.  ( Guinness World Records )

Intel joined forces with Ars Electronica Futurelab to set the Guinness World Record for having the most number of unmanned aerial vehicles in the air at the same time, but that's just skimming the surface. Intel is very enthusiastic about drones.

In fact, Intel's boss Brian Krzanich said at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas that drones will light up the skies to replace fireworks down the road.

"I see a future where fireworks and all their risks of smoke and dirt are a thing of the past, and they're replaced by shows that have unlimited creativity and potential – and powered by drones," he said.

Back in August last year, the company invested $60 million in Chinese drone maker Yuneec Holding. German drone maker Ascending Technologies also moved under Intel's umbrella on Jan. 4, 2016. The company likewise made an undisclosed investment in Airware of San Francisco.

"Intel gains expertise and technology to accelerate the deployment of Intel RealSense technology into the fast growing drone market segment," Intel says in a blog post about having Ascending Technologies on board.

The company will continue to work with the Ascending Technologies team to keep on providing support for its present customers while also working hand-in-hand with Intel's Perceptual Computing team to come up with a UAV technology that will soon "help drones fly with more awareness of their environments."

Drone 100

On Nov. 4, 2015, Intel and Futurelab pre-programmed 100 drones and launched them in the sky to show off a spectacular light show synchronized with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony played by a live orchestra.

Albeit the show was filmed last year, the video was initially showcased during the keynote speech of Krzanich at the 2016 CES on Jan. 5.

These drones, which were fitted with LEDs, concurrently lit up the skies over Ahrenlohe Airfield near Hamburg, Germany for seven minutes. They climbed as high as 328 feet to show off their choreographed routines. The light show ended with the drones forming the 250-meter wide (820 feet) logo of Intel.

A Guiness World Record judge was present during the show to verify and award the new record to the two companies.

Horst Hörtner, Ars Electronica Futurelab's director, said the new record is a result of the companies' years of hard work.

"Drone 100 was a crazy idea that came out of a hallway conversation inside Intel, and now it has become a reality," said Anil Nanduri, the general manager of New Markets in Intel's Perceptual Computing Group. "Working with Ars Electronica Futurelab, we were able to create a formation of 100 UAVs in the sky, creating amazing images and ending with the Intel logo."

Weighing 700 grams (1.5 pounds) each, the quadcopters were built by Ascending Technologies.

Futurelab member Andreas Jalsovec said Intel developed the ground controls software, which required a powerful computer to make the show possible.

Chief pilot Martin Morth said that drones do not always look at people, "sometimes, it's the drones that you should be looking at."

You can watch the video below.

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