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New app could decrease fireworks-related injuries

Posted: 1:34 PM, Jul 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-03 17:34:44Z

LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A new device for your smartphone could decrease the number of people injured by fireworks every year.

The ZapSpark device, when paired with an app, can set off fireworks from 75 feet away.

Here's how it works: Attach the igniter clip from the device to the fireworks fuse. Then use the ZapSpark app to ignite up to eight fireworks at a time.

You can also sync your fireworks to the beat of your music or create a custom fireworks show.

Here's a look at the ZapSpark in action:

"Most backyard fireworks users will find remote triggering to be delightful and safe. We leverage the fact that most people carry a smartphone, which is basically a computer with built-in wireless transceivers. This eliminates the need for, and cost of, a dedicated remote controller," said Mithuna Thottethodi, creator of ZapSpark and an associate professor at Purdue University School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

In 2017, Indiana State Department of Health had 238 reported cases of people who were injured by fireworks. That number was up compared to 230 reported cases in 2016.

Remote firing devices like ZapSpark may help reduce the number of people injured, Thottethodi said.

While ZapSpark is not available for purchase yet, Purdue says patent applications are in progress.

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