2021: the year of the drone show

Sponsored post by Alexander Levandovskiy

The year 2021 demonstrates the rapid increase in the number of local players in the global drone show market.

In addition to well-known global players, such as Intel or SkyMagic, numerous SMEs have been appearing on the regional level, such companies can be “closer” to the local customer and better understand the local market and its needs.

It is clear, we will see thousands of drones in the sky at large scale events like the Olympic Games or Super Cups, but such events are occasional.

However, shows of small and medium scale have become trendy: the launch of a drone show for displaying company logos, celebrating state and municipal holidays, combining light shows with other technological components of the show like lasers, fireworks and even fountains!

Noticeably the emphasis of the mass scale, giant shows are based on mass fleets, when thousands of drones create a static 2D picture. However, there are hundreds of companies around the world that successfully orchestrate as little as 20 drones and achieve accurate 3D choreography using GPS RTK, creating impressive dynamics due to fast LED frequency (about 30 FPS).

The cost for a drone show of 20 drones varies depending on the region of the world, but on average it is 20-25 thousand euros per show. Investments in technology start from 60,000 euros. And on average, starting from 8-9 shows, the investment pays off. Such shows are being reserved more often than large shows, 20 drones in the air can help make a marriage proposal, congratulate with a birthday or add a new technological component to the festive fireworks or lasers.

A technology, like Drone Show Software of SPH Engineering, allows to quickly scale and grow a fleet up from small scale to mid- and large scale. With a set of the software and drones, once trained a drone show provider gets a tool, for example, to market in the sky.

Over the past year, just our technology alone, have demonstrated the logos of the 8 largest vehicle concerns. For example, Celestial, has doubled its fleet from 150 to 300 drones and successfully flew shows for such customers as “Amnesty International” and “Green peace”. And VisualFarm Brazil increased a fleet of 20 to 100 drones and successfully launched a show for Volvo.

The most important component of a successful show is choreography, the designer’s job is to create bright and dynamic light images from at least 20 dots that can be arbitrarily located in space and shine in any color.

But such an art niche is still at the very early stage of development and expected to have a high growth potential. To search for new talents, last year European, North and Latin American and Australian drone show experts united to launch the First International Drone Show Choreography Competition.

The number of registrations reached 153 from over 50 countries & top 6 animations were awarded. The winners of the last competition have started their own business developing Animation Vertigo and SkyLab Entertainment.

The drone show industry creates amazing opportunities for drone enthusiasts, animators and designers, entrepreneurs and investors and the activities like the Second International Drone Show Competition initiated by SPH Engineering help to bring together the best representatives, their shows, animations, and business approaches to exchange knowledge about breakthrough sustainable technologies for outdoor light events. Start with an idea and make it fly!

Alexander Levandovskiy is head of the Drone Show Software division at SPH Engineering

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