It wasn’t a wardrobe malfunction or dancing sharks, but this year’s Super Bowl halftime show featured a special surprise: 300 drones. For many, it may have been the first time they had seen that many drones flying in synchronized formation. They transformed from hovering stars into a giant American Flag hovering in the Houston sky behind Lady Gaga, who began her halftime performance perched on the top of NRG Stadium.

The drone technology was put together by Intel, and although their part it wasn’t live (it was filmed in the days prior to the big event) the result was impressive.

Wired reported that each of the UAVs respond to a central computer, “oblivious to what the hundreds of machines around it are doing.”

The drones are each about a foot end to end, and weighs just over eight ounces. The distinguishing feature is the LED orb attached to the centre, which boasts a whopping four billion colour combinations.

The performance was the drone’s biggest single audience to date, with approximately 160 million people worldwide watching. But these kinds of drone shows have been around for a while.

Intel recently wrapped up a weeks-long light show at Disney World. Last year in Sydney, Australia, the company put on a 500-drone show, breaking the record for the most UAVs airborne simultaneously.

Image credit: Intel