Jul4
Independence Day

Land of the Free and the Home of the…Technologically Adept

Posted by Kelly Kirkham

How technology has changed the way we celebrate Independence Day…

This Fourth of July, America will become 238 patriotic years old, 150 million hot dogs will be eaten, thousands of celebratory gun shots will be fired, and over 14,000 firework displays will explode in the sky.

Some of our celebratory rituals have remained unchanged for the last 200 years. But technology is forever accelerating and perfecting the way we do just about everything and the Fourth of July is no exception.

Here are some examples of how technology is changing the way we do Independence Day…

The Invites

Back in 1826, one of the last letters Thomas Jefferson ever wrote was to invite a friend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In today’s world Jefferson would have sent out an email, posted on Facebook, or maybe just tweeted the invitation to his followers.

The Fireworks

Can’t make it to the big firework shows this year? Never fear technology is here! Thanks to the Internet you can stream all of the booms and bangs right to your computer or tablet. Many of the major firework productions will be available to watch online,  including the Boston Pops, A Capitol Fourth in Washington DC, and Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular in New York City.

If you do make it to a display, you probably won’t see anyone running from place to place acting as a fuse lighter. Modern firework shows are precisely timed using state of the art software to choreograph each explosion. These firing system can be wired or be equipped with Wi-Fi to allow the safety and freedom for the pyrotechnic engineers. The former ‘guy with a torch’ is now able to sit back and watch the show while operating from his smartphone.

Keeping the Peace

Shotspotter, a program used by law enforcement to differentiate the difference between legal and illegal fireworks and gunshots, will be hard at work keeping our communities safe on July 4. Advancements in GPS technologies have created a way for this program to triangulate the shot or boom and can give authorities an exact location of the various types of explosions. Shotspotter recorded more than 1,000 instances of gunfire last Fourth of July in Birmingham, Alabama alone.

The Barbecue

The Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Grill is changing the way we roast hot dogs. This ‘Rolls Royce” of grills is a combination gas/charcoal/woodchip grill with the ability to switch from one fuel source to another in an instant. The dual infrared burners work in conjunction with a heavy-duty motorized rotisserie to roast your favorite Independence Day meat to perfection. At $17,000 each, the Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Grill might not leave a lot of budget for steaks, but whatever you do cook will certainly have a luxurious flavor.

Born in the USA, from sea to shining sea, this land is your land, however you sing it, technology and computing power has streamlined our celebrations, all the while making the world safer and more productive along the way. Happy Fourth!

 

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