This year’s usual Macy’s July 4th fireworks extravaganza has always been a great show for anyone lucky enough to be in New York City during the event. But courtesy of Makelight, you can also participate from home.
On top of the pyrotechnics in the sky — usually the country’s largest July 4th gunpowder-and-bright-lights-blowout — this year, Macy’s plans to let you all put a little of that light in your hands via a partnership with Makelight.
(Editor’s note: Please don’t hold fireworks in your hand. “A little light in your hand,” that’s a figure of speech. To reiterate, phone apps that mimic fireworks = ok to hold in your hand. Actual fireworks = really stupid to hold in your hand. Eom.)
Makelight, a cool new mobile special effects platform, has designed an app to incorporate audiences into events like the fireworks display. Download the app at the Google or Apple iTunes store, and your phone will sync with the event and everyone else’s phones, mirroring the colors seen in the show live as they light up the Manhattan skyline.
“As the nation’s premiere Independence Day pyrotechnic display, the 40th anniversary of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks promises to celebrate America’s 240th birthday in grand style,” says the clearly very shy Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, adding that the event — “always the nation’s largest display” — pulls together over 56,000 effects ignited from five firing locations on the water, “making this year the biggest Macy’s Fireworks show since our once-in-a lifetime millennial display in 2000.”
Fireworks: now there’s an app for that?
The way Kule’s talking, it sounds like it might be tough for Makelight to keep up.
But the firm is building a community at events like this, so no real need to compete with the pyrotechnicians.
“We talk about People As Pixels,” says Makelight co-founder Joanna Alpe. “I think conceptually it’s a brilliant metaphor for people coming together en masse to form meaning and communication. Like the individual pixels of a screen, each person has a part of play and is a meaningful part of the overall whole. I like that symbolism. There is something so fundamentally human about uniting around an experience, and idea, a moment in time.”
She adds Makelight aims to remind event attendees and their users that “Hey, it’s not just me, there are a bunch of us thinking, doing, responding together at the same time to a central idea.”
“This gives the audience a feeling of strength and significance,” she says.
The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular will be in NBC at 8pm ET on July 4th. If it’s too late to get to NYC in person, and too impersonal to just watch along on TV, download the Makelight app to join in.