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What was Intel doing with 950 drones in Folsom's night sky? Making history

Over 900 drones illuminate the sky, arranged to depict Time Magazine's iconic logo and border, in the photograph taken at 8:31 p.m. on May 3 in Folsom.  The June 11 issue features a special report titled "The Drone Age,"  according to the New York City-based weekly news magazine.
Over 900 drones illuminate the sky, arranged to depict Time Magazine's iconic logo and border, in the photograph taken at 8:31 p.m. on May 3 in Folsom. The June 11 issue features a special report titled "The Drone Age," according to the New York City-based weekly news magazine.

Folsom's sky can be especially picturesque with sunsets over the lake and foothills – but you've never seen it like this before.

It stars on the cover of Time Magazine that can be found at newsstands around the world Friday. Over 900 drones illuminate the sky, arranged to depict the publication's iconic logo and border, in the photograph taken at 8:31 p.m. on May 3. The June 11 issue of the New York City-based weekly news magazine features a special report titled "The Drone Age."

Collaboration for the cover shoot involved the magazine, Intel’s drone light show team, Astraeus Aerial Cinema Systems and L.A. Drones, according to the magazine. This visual display comes three months after 1,218 drones were used by Intel to create the five Olympic rings in the sky during the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Intel Corp. is Folsom's largest employer in the private sector, with about 6,000 jobs at the campus.

"It's pretty incredible because I watched what they did at the Olympics and ... it is fascinating, to say the least, to know they have not only the technology that they can do this with the drones, but just the coordination of all those drones," said Folsom Mayor Steve Miklos. "That's individuals that put that together, so that's a lot of talent in itself besides just the drones to coordinate all that."

The 958 drones in Folsom stretched over 300 feet tall with only about 5 feet between each one, which ran the risk of collision when paired with the wind, Intel Animation Lead Tim Heath told Time Magazine in a behind-the-scenes video.

"This is very big for (the city of Folsom)," Miklos said. "We're a happy team partner and player with Intel, and whenever we can we try to promote them, and vice versa, as well as the rest of the city, because I know they have such a world presence. ... This is just another example of how a city can embrace its identity and the people that surround the identity of a community."

The photo of Folsom's night sky is Time Magazine's first cover shot by a drone since being founded in 1923, according to the magazine.

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