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Drones form scannable QR code over Shanghai skyline

Drones form scannable QR code over Shanghai skyline

A drone light show with no less than 1,500 drones above the Shanghai skyline in China recently ended in a very special way. The luminous aircraft together formed a gigantic scannable QR code. Anyone who scanned the code with their phone was directed to the download link for a new game. But not everyone is happy with the flying billboard.

Drones form scannable QR code over Shanghai skyline

The drone show over the banks of the Bund was an initiative of the video streaming service Bilibili. The show marked the Chinese release of the Japanese role-playing game Princess Connect! Re: Dive. During the show, the drones first formed a series of characters from the game. Then the drones formed a giant QR code.

The use of QR codes has grown significantly in China recently. They are used, among other things, to facilitate micropayments. In connection with the corona pandemic, the Chinese must also have a scannable QR code on their phone before they are allowed to enter anywhere. Giant QR codes are also regularly printed on billboards attached to buildings.

Drones form scannable QR code over Shanghai skyline
Some characters from the game. Photo: Bilibili

Criticism

However, not everyone is happy with Bilibili’s advertising stunt. Some people compare the luminescent QR code to the holographic ads from the science fiction movie Blade Runner 2049. They are so large and ubiquitous that they cannot be ignored, constantly urging people to buy things.

A spectator scans the QR code. Photo: Bilibili
A spectator scans the QR code. Photo: Bilibili

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This article first appeared on Dronewatch.nl and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager (@wdejager) is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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