Intel has long been proud of its drone-based light shows — including airing a (pretaped) halftime show at the last Superbowl. Today at its CES keynote, the company introduced a new version of those drones, called “Shooting Star Mini.” The innovation here? They’re tiny and totally safe to fly indoors, above the heads of the audience. They are interesting because they can locate themselves in space without the need for GPS.
Intel capped its keynote with a lightshow that was impressive — at least if you were in the arena to get the full effect of the tiny drones flying in 3D space. The song they danced to was Kygo’s “Stargazing,” of course.
Want to buy one? Sorry – you can’t. “This is not the type of drone you can buy in the store,” says CEO Brian Krzanich. Even though these little drones seem like they might be the perfect in-house drone toy, that’s not what Intel intends for them. Instead, they’re just here for these kinds of light shows. You preprogram a routine into the system and then set a swarm of them out into the air rather than control each individual one directly. The Shooting Star Mini drones then go out and follow the choreography. Intel says a single pilot can fly up to 100 of them at once.
We don’t know if Intel intends to allow people go out and purchase 100 of these things anytime soon, but we do know that they’re likely to be another mainstay in its presentations going forward.