Intel’s Shooting Star Drone
Your neighborhood Christmas light showoff is about to get a reality check.
Computer chip maker Intel has developed a Shooting Star drone, specifically created for entertainment light shows, of which up to 500 can be controlled by a single computer, according to the company. Intel had broken the Guiness Book World Record earlier when it flew 100 drones in a swarm.
The drones are equipped with LEDs, are protected by soft plastic cages, can fly in light rain and can run for about 20 minutes and at speeds of up to around 22 mph, Intel says.
While Intel itself has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., it’s unclear what kind of roadblocks cities putting on drone “fireworks” displays could face.
Last year, $340 million was spent on fireworks shows, and consumers spend another $755 million to set off fireworks on their own, according to figures from the American Pyrotechnicas Association.
Intel hasn’t disclosed how much one of these drones would cost, let alone how much it would cost to put on a fireworks-caliber light show. There’s no mention, though, of how these drones will re-create the sound of fireworks exploding, which is half the fun. At least this way, though, there’s no chance of blowing your hands off.