Intel brought 300 drones to the Super Bowl

It wasn’t live, but Intel’s 300 drones in the sky behind Lady Gaga at the start of the Super Bowl Halftime Show were impressive nonetheless. What started out as a sea of floating lights came together by the end of the bit to form an American flag. It was impressive, cool, and it was all thanks to the ever-growing interest in drones.ladygagsuperbowldrones

The Super Bowl was the third public outing in the U.S. for Intel’s Shooting Star quadcopter drones following several weeks of aerial shows at Disney World in Florida. It was also a record-breaking moment for Intel’s drones, which were allowed to fly up to 700 feet for the first time after receiving special permission from the Federal Aviation Authority.

Each drone weighs a little less than a volleyball and is equipped with LED lights that Intel says can create more than 4 billion color combinations in the sky.

 

To make the drones actually operate and move the way they need to, Intel said it developed special algorithms to automate the animation process. But during show time, the drones can be operated by a single pilot from one PC.

Although Intel says the drones were designed specifically for entertainment purposes, there may also be more practical applications for these drones in the future. Intel’s drone chief, Anil Nanduri, told Wired that he sees a future where these drones could be used for purposes such as search and rescue. Just plug in a search pattern and off they go.

Intel wasn’t the only company talking drones on Sunday. Amazon also aired a Super Bowl commercial showing off drone-based Prime Air deliveries. Prime Air is not yet available in the U.S., but it is currently being tested in the UK.

Although Intel’s Shooting Star drones are able to show up for special events, the devices aren’t yet available for sale; the quadcopters still have to get a stamp of approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

Google Maps update puts a focus on navigation inside the app

Over the past few weeks Google has added in-app Uber booking and parking availability to Maps, but it isn’t done with the improvements. In an update rolling out today, the app will receive some better navigation—not in how we drive but in how we get around the app.google maps navigation

A blog post details the change, which will only affect the Android version of Maps. The update adds a new menu bar to the bottom of the home screen that brings easy access to three common features: places, driving, and transit. Designed to cut down on the number of taps you’ll need to make to get directions and find restaurants, the update focuses on delivering real time at a glance, according to a Google blog post:

Under the new places tab, users will find lists of restaurants and bars around you, as well as a search bar that lets you find ATMs, pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores. Additionally, if you tap the car icon you’ll be able to quickly get an estimated time of arrival for going home or to work, as well as traffic conditions and any possible reported delays. Finally, the subway icon will show you the best train or bus to catch for your commute, or you check out schedules for stations and stops near you.

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Google Maps’ new navigation helps you get the information you need quickly.

 We all love Google Maps, but let’s face it, no one wants to spend any more time with it than they have to. With this latest update, Google hasn’t added any new features, but by streamlining the interface a bit, it will help us get where we’re going that much faster.

This story, “Google Maps update puts a focus on navigation inside the app” was originally published by Greenbot.