Drone Technology & Super Bowl 51 Pushing Limits to New Heights

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots organization, and Lady Gaga all set records on the night of February 5th, 2017, Super Bowl 51. Bill Belichick became the first coach to win 5 Super Bowls,Tom Brady, the first quarterback to win 5 super bowls, the Patriots, the first team in a Super Bowl to overcome a 25 point deficit. Likewise Intel and Lady Gaga combined forces to produce a performance that outshone previous half time shows.

At the start of Gaga’s performance, before her exhilarating dive into the NRG stadium, Gaga sang, God Bless America, in front of a Houston skyline lit by 300 color alternating stars.These stars were drones, and this was the first time drones had ever been used in a Super Bowl or any entertainment event of this size. 300 drones flew 700 feet in the air, another record.`

Federal agencies, tech experts, and businesses are all interested in where drones may take us. What effects might drones have on the economy, on technology, or on public safety? The Lady of Pop, who is iconic for her ability to by her drive art and performance to their furthest points, now adds a new question to the mix. What effect could drones have on entertainment and art?

Lady Gaga and Intel showed us the unique qualities that drones can add to an artistic performance. Lady Gaga was shown in front of a skyline, lit by moving color-alternating stars that seemed to follow her control. The spectacle put on by these machines gave Gaga’s performance a heightened quality of grandeur, making the show larger than life. She could control the sky. Lady Gaga is always taking risks, and the drones allowed her to create something never done before.

The company’s drones just came back from Disney Word. In 2015, they were in Sydney. New drone tech technology is clearly making headway in the entertainment industry.

Companies like Amazon and Intel, and people like Lady Gaga show us that the possibilities that drones present are endless. Yamaha’s RMAX drones are being used to aid farmers in South Korea and Australia. Amazon is working to finalize Prime Air, an air delivery option that could result in a 30 minute shipment time door to door. The FAA estimates that by 2020, there will be 4.3 million hobbyist drones sold, up from about 1.9 million sold in 2016.

Despite the immense progress and innovation these remotely controlled airborne machines are bringing to different industries, there also some setbacks. Anyone watching Gaga’s performance live didn’t see the 300 stars turn into a red, white, and blue American flag.

The opening portion of Gaga’s performance was pre-recorded. The Federal Aviation Administration wouldn’t allow drones to fly within 34.5 miles on game day. In addition, concerns with the weather and the dome-like structure of the stadium contributed to the decision to film part of the performance earlier. Some kinks are still being worked out; we are still in drone art’s early phase

Records are meant to be broken. Last week, Tom Brady put on a performance that arguably guarantees his position as the greatest quarterback ever. He has set the bar even higher, ensuring that those coming after him must work twice as hard to compete with the records he has set.

Lady Gaga is also raising the bar by ensuring that drone technology certainly belongs in art and performance. There are certainly places to go, but it is intriguing to see where entertainers take drone technology and how they break Lady Gaga’s records.

Written by

Thane Ritchie is the founder of Ritchie Capital Management who currently is involved in private equity and energy investments.