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Previews of Firework Displays Now Available on Smart Phones

Photodisc/Thomas Northcut(JOPLIN, Mo.) -- Families across the country will be shopping for the perfect fireworks for this upcoming Independence Day weekend -- and now they will have something other than the descriptions on the back of the box to rely on.

"You read the side of it. You don't know what it's gonna do," said Greg Wooten, a shopper at Black Cat Fireworks in Joplin, Mo. "It tells you it's going to do one thing and it does another."

Black Cat's manager, Larry Shelly, decided to change that. The store has installed small bar codes on each of the products so customers can get a visual preview of what the fireworks will look like when they go off.

To scan the code, customers simply need to hold their phones up to the product. He said customers really enjoy it.

"I know over the last couple of days we've had over a thousand hits on those items," Shelly said. "I think it will continue to grow."

The bar codes on the products are called QR, or Quick Response, codes. They were originally created to attach to automobile parts so workers could easily scan them during the production process. Now the codes are attached to almost everything.

Emily Clark and her father say it's nice to be able to preview the fireworks before they commit to buying.

"Some fireworks, you spend a lot of money, and they turn out to be pretty lame," said Emily. With the bar codes, "you can look at it before you light it."

Shelly said he wants to give his customers a chance to find exactly what they're looking for.

"Give them an opportunity to see if it's the design they enjoy," he said.

Shoppers will now be able to see exactly what they spend their money on.

"You spend a lot of money on fireworks and when it comes down to it, you want something enjoyable," said Shelly.

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