It’s 4th of July, and in the US that means fireworks – and lots of them. In Madison, we celebrate with “Rhythm and Booms”, which is one of the largest shows in the Midwest.
However, there are always issues surrounding the event – mainly the cost of a fireworks show. A 45 minute show can cost upwards to 50,000 or more. If you want specialty fireworks, well that’s going to cost a little more.
Add to this the environmental impact of Fireworks. A white firework consists of 75 percent potassium nitrate, 15 percent charcoal and 10 percent sulfur – according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. But we want red, blue, green, yellow, and other colors to make it look pretty.
According to IOPScience – to get those colors, we need to add Radium into the mix. Although the amount of Radium is small, it’s still a radioactive material.
Along with that, we also have what is called “firework snow” which falls to the ground. Some people can get singed if they are too close to ground zero.
Did you know that barium concentrations can be 500 times higher the day after a fireworks show? Don’t think about shooting over a body of water either. Another study by Richard Wilkin of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that Perchlorate salts of potassium and ammonium enter into the water which can pose another health risk.
So what is one to do? Well, what if fireworks were not lethal and can be seen by all? Enter in the holographic firework.
We’ve seen Tupac go on stage in the after-life. Disney uses a technique that will display other shapes and colors that a conventional firework couldn’t.
The trick is actually using either water or the smoke from another firework to project the hologram. The problem is these holographic fireworks are somewhat flat, so if you are at the wrong angle, you won’t see the image too well.
By bending the smoke or water and projecting the images from different angles, the illusion can still be created while people can see it from where they are sitting.
Ground fireworks are easier to create because you can use a mesh screen to project items on. When fireworks get launched in the air, that would be the challenge for a hologram.
We might begin to see hybrid firework displays so images and even video can be shown while the sky lights up. This can even accentuate the show by flashing holographic fireworks upon the smoke of a real firework. That is, if its not too windy…
The holographic firework could now be placed indoors – a football stadium, rock ampithetre, or other location. Maybe even your local rock bands can start doing pyro shows that have been banned since 2003’s Station nightclub fire.
Best part is it won’t be toxic – so you can light off as many holographic fireworks that you want. The realism of sound would be created though PA systems.
Price of a holographic system might be on the high side right now but also could be justified by its multiple year use. It could be cheaper in the long run.
The less amount of actual fireworks means less pollution in the air and water. You could get more out of your $50,000 with a system that can project a firework.
The only question you have to ask is, does it matter to you if they are holographic or not.