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Fear no more! Drone shows create firework-like light displays that are fun for the whole family, pups included

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Could Intel® Shooting Star™ drones be the secret to perfect festivities?
We asked Brad Whalen, one of Intel’s drone light show project managers, what it’s like to tour the world with this innovative new technology and how it could impact even our nation’s brightest (and loudest) holiday.


Ear-friendly entertainment

If you haven’t seen a drone light show, you haven’t lived. Drone shows are smoke-and-noise-free light displays that are like digital fireworks, but so much more. It’s a completely new form of storytelling and entertainment. We use the night sky as a stage to present an incredible spectacle of synchronized flight choreography coupled with dazzling light sequences. The energy at these events is unbelievable and people are captivated by our shows.

And they’re fun for the whole family, even those who might be startled by loud noises. Drone shows create a low, gentle hum as opposed to the explosive noise of firework displays. Even children who are sensitive to loud sounds are able to watch and enjoy our drone spectacles without wearing any noise-cancelling gear.


Behind the scenes

I love what I do. I help showcase the cool and exciting ways that Intel is pushing the envelope in innovation.

Our drone shows are becoming increasingly popular around the world. We get requests from government bodies, major brands, advertising agencies, and other festival organizers to design and implement a show. With the collaboration of engineers, technicians, marketers, and others working across the company, we make magic happen.

We work closely with each client to design intricate light shows that bring their events to life. Our teams are deployed on site to lay the groundwork, test capabilities and wind conditions, run simulations, and make sure the show goes off without a hitch.

The right stuff

While we’re not astronauts, it does take a particular set of skills to be a successful member of our flight crew. Most of the people in the Drone Light Shows group are licensed drone pilots. I have my FAA Part 107 remote pilot license and have run shows consisting of 300-500+ drones. Our drone light show team has even run shows with over 1000 drones!

There’s no playbook or rule book to producing the perfect drone show. Each is unique and has its own distinct challenges. We are the first to do these drone light shows at scale, so we are honing our playbook as we go. Talk about the ultimate teamwork.

A new era of celebration

Every July 4th in America, large firework events across the nation often cause undue stress to children, pets, and those who suffer from anxiety. Our drone shows might be the answer. Future celebrations like these will have the awe factor of a spectacular light show—without the noise pollution. Just send in the drones.


Still curious? See Intel drones cover TIME and learn more about these spectacles of light. You can also explore more of our amazing drone work at intel.com/drones
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