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Volume 7 No. 80
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Intel Drones Could Be Star Of Friday’s Opening Ceremony

Will Intel’s drones play a starring role in the Pyeongchang opening ceremony on Friday?

The official word is no comment, under strict confidentiality rules that have already gotten Reuters photographers banned for taking pictures of a rehearsal.

Natalie Cheung, Intel’s general manager of drone light shows, displays one of Intel's Shooting Star drones at the company’s tech showcase in Gangneung, South Korea.
Photo: Ben Fischer

But there’s good reason to believe the company’s Shooting Star quadcopters will put on a light show to rival its showing on the Las Vegas Strip during January’s Consumer Electronics Show, or its then-record-breaking project in Munich in 2016 when it launched 500 LED-light-carrying drones at once to illuminate the sky.

In its first Olympics as a global sponsor of the International Olympic Committee, Intel is aggressively activating here in Pyeongchang, mostly emphasizing its drones, virtual reality and 5G connectivity support technology. A media tour of the Intel showcase focused intently on Intel’s light-show drones and its professional-class surveying and inspection drones.

“Fireworks were invented in about the seventh century, so that’s, what, 1,400 years without a lot of changes in how you can light the night sky?,” said Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager of Intel’s drone group. “We think drones can be the next thing.”

If Pyeongchang 2018 organizers do involve Intel, it won’t be immediately evident to viewers. Branding of any kind if verboten during the opening ceremony.