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So we didn’t quite get to flying cars by 2015 like Back to The Future II said that we would, and the only self-lacing Nikes are still pretty darn pricey, but there are glimpses of our previously-imagined futures beginning to peak through into the present day.

And, sadly, much of the glitz and glamor that we envisioned for ourselves in the 21st century has come as the hands of the money-hungry hounds of the advertising industry, who dazzle and bait us like bass in a lake, hoping to hook us and rob us of time and money.

But I digress.

Yes, the future is alive and here, and the residents of Austin, Texas just got a taste of things to come.

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An eerie swarm of purple lights amassed in the skies over downtown Austin, Texas, Sunday evening.

Four hundred drones were suspended over the city during the South by Southwest festival to form a giant, hovering … QR code?

The dystopic-yet-impressive stunt was from Paramount+ to promote its upcoming sci-fi series Halo, based on the popular Xbox game about a warrior fighting off an alien invasion. The display was 300 feet tall (roughly the height of the Statue of Liberty) and 600 feet wide (almost two football fields). And, yes, the QR code was scannable, linking to a trailer for the series (below).

Video of the stunt was soon lighting up social media.

Not everyone loved it, however.

Locals on Austin subreddit had plenty of thoughts. “This is obviously a sign of the apocalypse,” wrote one. “The day I look up to the night sky and see a f****** ad is the day you should just shoot me right there,” penned another. “I saw it and got scared and ran inside,” wrote another.


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