Intel Drone100 At Sydney’s Vivid Festival

Last evening De and I were privileged to attend a performance of Drone 100 at the Sydney Opera House.

This is a computer aided light show using 100 remote controlled drones simultaneously flying over the harbour (in this case, Farm Cove, to the east of the Opera House) with a musical accompaniment by the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

Intel Drone 100 Finale

Intel Drone 100 Finale

I’m a fairly jaded individual, and I tend to get bored fairly easily with the usual over-crowded events such as Vivid or New Year’s Eve, and especially such things as the NYE fireworks.  This was a very different affair.

First of all, whilst busy, it not not uncomfortably crowded; they got the numbers exactly right. And the weather – hey, it’s mid June, but what a pleasant evening to spend by the harbourside! Temperature would have been around 20-ish; very pleasant.

The evening started with the Sydney Youth Orchestra providing a selection of music, and I must say how pleasant it is to listen not just to live music (always better than recorded stuff) but to hear these younger musicians practising and learning their craft.

The start time of the display was delayed due to unfavourable wind conditions – we’d been notified about this earlier in the day, and that was not an issue.

The drones’ performance started at around 9pm, and lasted for about 7 minutes. While that doesn’t sound like a long tine, it was certainly a more than adequate demonstration of what the technologies on display were capable of doing, and when you think about it, it’s was really not that much shorter than many of the fireworks displays that we see on the harbour from time to time.

And that is one aspect that, I think, brings this to the fore: as I said at the start of this article, I’ve become well and truly jaded with the usual fireworks displays, but in Drone 100 we possibly have the makings of a way that we can be much more creative in how mass public events may be conceived, developed and executed.

Well done, Intel, for bringing this to Sydney, supporting the Sydney Youth Orchestra, and for giving us a window into the future.

Here’s a video of the performance. I apologise for the poor quality, but if you can, please do get into the Opera House and catch it.