How often do you consider computer technology when you’re watching firework displays on the 4th of July? Fireworks have been a celebration staple for hundreds of years. Invented by the Chinese around the year 1040, the combustion of these black-powder packages were thought to ward off evil spirits. Since then, the technology of these spectacles has advanced to computerized levels.
In the past, firework displays were conducted by lighting each fuse by hand, generally with a road flare. Due to obvious safety precautions, this process is virtually extinct. E-matches were the next big step- basically an electronic spark that would ignite the fuse of each individual flare. However, this technology has been surpassed still. Today, computer software programs have been created for designing, simulating and scripting firework displays- some mortars now even contain computer chips.
Programs such as Visual Show Director (VSD) and Finale Fireworks enable designers to choose from a wide variety of fireworks and effects, colors, heights and trajectories with a simple drag and drop of the mouse. To avoid blind spots, 3D effects were implemented to view each blast from any vantage point in a 360 degree radius. Choreographers are even able to play music to accentuate each mortar starburst- all in the same program. Finale Fireworks took this technology a step further by allowing the user to upload an image of the event location which provides a more realistic backdrop for the show’s designer. Once a show has been programmed and the fireworks are in proper position, the software is capable of running the entire event. These advances in firework technology have produced shows that now sync to the exact rhythm of music and execute precise firing sequences for spectacular starburst displays at any event.
Sound pretty cool? You can create a fireworks show of your own- Visit http://www.finalefireworks.com/ and download their free game. You can then share your display with friends on social media platforms. Give it a try, and have a great Independence Day!