Sky Elements spent over a year preparing for a drone show over downtown Austin, promising a "special surprise" at the end. On Friday night, their hour-long SXSW event in the sky featured more than 600 drones and concluded with a QR code. The special surprise? The folks who scanned it got Rickrolled.
The team is hoping their performance earns them a Guinness World Record for longest drone show.
"We're going to be flying the world's longest show, we think, in the world, so we'll be confirming that with Guinness after this is all done. But it is going to be over an hour-long countdown to a special surprise," said Rick Boss, vice president of business development of Sky Elements Drone Shows.
…It is an operation that has required hundreds of hours of work. Drone light shows are programmed by computers and 3D animators. Boss estimates this light show has required at least 50 hours of programming from their 3D animators behind the scenes as well as planning and testing with their pilots.
There is one pilot controlling all the drones. Boss promised a spectacle that was "fun-centric," grabbed eyes and brought more attention to this technology.