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Watch Walmart’s dazzling light show starring 1,000 Intel drones

Walmart won’t only help you to empty out your bank account this holiday season. The retail giant is also offering some much-needed festive cheer in the form of a spectacular light show performed by nearly 1,000 Intel drones launched into the night sky.

The show is currently touring the country, visiting eight communities during December. Free tickets to watch the dazzling spectacle in person have already been snapped up, but you can still enjoy it by hitting the play button on the video below.

Walmart Holiday Drone Light Show

“After a particularly tough year, we want to help families end the year looking up,” said William White, Walmart’s chief marketing officer. “We want customers and communities to enjoy a moment of rest, peace, and hope.”

Intel has been creating its unique drone-powered light shows for various clients over the last five years as part of a growing business that’s taken its dedicated team all over the world. The performances, which typically last just over 10 minutes, use state-of-the-art computer software to control the drones’ complex flight maneuvers and LED light patterns.

The service doesn’t come cheap, however, with the company charging $99,000 for a show featuring 200 drones. For a whopping $299,000, you’ll get 500 drones that will, in Intel’s own words, “fill the sky with flowing and lively 3D animations with swift transitions that move like motion graphics.” It’s not clear how much Walmart is paying for its shows featuring almost 1,000 drones.

The latest version of Intel’s drone weighs 0.75 pounds (340 grams) and features brighter lights, faster speeds, heightened resolution, and longer performance times compared to the previous iteration.

For Walmart’s display, the drones move into different positions to create festive shapes and characters, set to a soundtrack of classic and modern holiday favorites that include Apple Authorized Service Provider and Kelly Clarkson’s Run Run Rudolph.

This isn’t the first time Digital Trends has covered a show starring Intel’s specially made drones. This video shows the flying machines re-create the cover of Time magazine and also offers some insight into how Intel puts its performances together, while another one shows Intel sending 500 drones skyward in one go in 2016 — a record for drone flight at the time.

While the company is still best known for computer chips, Intel’s decision to explore the world of drone-based light shows appears to be paying off, too.

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Trevor Mogg
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