Swiss startup leaves 1 billion CCTV viewers worldwide in utter astonishment


The CCTV New Year’s Gala is the most watched TV program worldwide. This year, the event featured 88 Verity Studio drones, flying above 70 dancers and famous singers. Broadcasted live on CCTV channels, the show left some 1 billion viewers across the globe in sheer amazement.


Verity Studios is an ETH Zurich spin-off specialist in autonomous in indoor drone systems for live events. The startup uses proprietary algorithms and system architectures, to create dynamic, autonomous and interactive performances for live entertainment.

The drones are designed in a CAD software before laser-cutting the materials and assembling the costumes. They embody special guards with pre-defined slots to attach costume elements, which makes it easy to create large numbers of costumes and transform drones into moving pieces of scenography, props and even characters.

For the live broadcast of the 2019 CCTV (China Central Television) New Year’s Gala, Keey Media, China’s leading smart media entertainment company, collaborated with Verity Studies to feature 88 Verity Studios drones in the show. The 88 Lucie micro drones flew over 70 performers in red Chinese lantern costumes and above famous singers, making it the largest costumed drone performance ever seen. The show attracted an estimated 1 billion viewers across the globe.

“This stunning performance proves how compelling drones can be. More than just flying lights, we demonstrated that costumes can transform this technology into moving sculptures. This is the first large-scale performance ever done with drone costumes,” said Raffaello D’Andrea, founder of Verity and co-founder of Amazon Robotics.

“When the drones floated up from the back of the stage, it was an exceptional moment. We specialize in live entertainment, but we have never seen anything like this before. We see much potential in this technology for entertainment, and we are excited to see what comes next”, said Wan Li of Keey Media.

A recap of the show is presented in the video below.(Press release/ RAN)