Saturday’s President-Elect Joe Biden victory speech was historic for a number of reasons, but there’s one big reason that came as a shock: an epic drone light show.
Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on Saturday night each delivered a victory speech at a drive-in rally in Biden’s home city of Wilmington, Delaware. The speeches largely went as expected — save for one big surprise finale: a drone light show.
A stunning — and fairly long — drone light show lit up the skies over the Biden victory speech rally. Red, white and blue drones flew to make formations of words and letters like “46,” “Biden,” “Harris,” “USA”, as well as in shapes such as a map of the country. The drones also flew alongside a backdrop of traditional fireworks.
For starters, the Biden victory speech (drone show included) was important to the drone industry simply because it was widely broadcast on many cable news networks and on online streams. It’s trending on Twitter.
That means Saturday night’s light show quickly brought the power of drones to the masses — much more so than the fairly niche audiences who might have seen drones in the past at events like Coachella Music Festival or at the CES tech conference in Las Vegas.
What’s more, Saturday’s delightful drone show not only raises awareness about how impressive the technology can be for entertainment purposes, but also proves that drones aren’t always “bad or scary,” as many people have long feared. Drones can be used for good — not just for crashing or spying on you.
Not to mention that the drone light show was absolutely beautiful — perhaps one of the most beautiful drone light shows seen yet in terms of design, variety of formations and pace.
But the drones also signal something else super important: this is an administration that is already accepting drones (at least on some level).
I tweeted this as a half-joke, but every joke has some truth to it.
The past few years have been a struggle for the drone industry. The Trump administration has seriously considered an executive order to ban all federal departments and agencies from buying or using foreign-made drones (meaning most government agencies could only use drones made in the USA), citing a risk to national security. Big drone players like China-based DJI have called out such proposals as “egregious, fear-based policies.”
And a few years back, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which included a highly controversial bill that would allow the government to shoot down a drone that “is identified as high-risk and a potential target for unlawful unmanned aircraft activity.” And drone hobby groups like the Academy of Aeronautics (AMA) were upset by new conditions for recreational drone use (including the repeal of Section 336), which the AMA called “a devastating blow to innovation.”
For the latest president-elect to kick off this era with a display of drones indicates that drones are welcome, at least in some capacity (and a very large, high-profile capacity than that).
And those who have been closely watching the drone industry are optimistic that the Biden victory speech drone light show indicates a brighter future.