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Intel droneworks display
Intel’s swarm of light-equipped drones arrange themselves to create an American flag in the sky above Amazon’s MARS conference. (Caleb Harper via Twitter)

The synchronized drone display that accompanied Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show may have been recorded in advance, but a similar “droneworks” show wowed a crowd in real time at Amazon’s MARS 2017 conference in Palm Springs, Calif.

“If you thought the Super Bowl drone light show was cool, this tops it,” Sasha Hoffman wrote in a tweet.

Like the Super Bowl’s display, Monday night’s show was presented by Intel. The company’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, reportedly played a personal part in “bringing out the drones.”

Intel’s light show makes use of hundreds of Shooting Star quadcopters equipped with LED displays. The drones can be pre-programmed to fly in complex trajectories and create multicolored patterns of light.

Those patterns can form moving swirls, reminiscent of fireworks or laser shows, or pictures of American flags and corporate logos (like, um, Intel’s).

During the MARS 2017 display, the drones formed the letters M-A-R-S to pay tribute to the conference’s four themes: Machine learning, home Automation, Robotics and Space exploration.

The invitation-only conference continued today with more presentations, including a talk on machine learning by Ali Farhadi, the CEO of Seattle startup Xnor.ai.

GeekWire’s invitation must have gotten lost in the mail, but to follow the action, check the #MARS2017 hashtag on Twitter.

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