When you think about the Fourth of July, you think about fireworks – and you probably have a highly romanticized image of sooty people running around with matches and mortar tubes lighting those fireworks off with talent and bravery. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this (though I suspect you already know): fireworks aren't like that anymore. As this article on intelfreepress explains, the dazzling displays you'll see today require computer coreography in order to go off without a problem. Between the visuals, the music, and sometimes even the spelling out of words, fireworks are just as high tech as anything else out there!
Computers began their invovlement with large firework shows in 1978 to remotely light the explosives. Since that point, they've grown in their importance and in what they are capable of doing. Computers help the show “composers” determine how long a firework will last, how high it will go, and how to time it with the music that will be playing. The article goes on to explain even more of the tech behind our favorite light show of the summer holiday, and how computers will continue to expand in our patriotic festivities.