Because everything needs to be “social” nowadays, we’ll soon have electronic cigarettes with built-in network connections. Get within 50 feet of someone who smokes your same brand, and both of your packs will light up and vibrate. Then the two of you can high five each other and exchange contact information—all of which is stored inside your pack of smokes.
The e-cigarettes are from a company called Blu, which will sell five-packs of reusable smokes for $80 a pop starting next month, according to the New York Times. The pack itself will act as a charger for the cigarettes and its connected chip will alert you to nearby Blu smokers as well as alerting you when you walk past shops that sell Blu products.
An e-cigarette generally consists of two pieces: a cartridge that holds the nicotine and whatnot that resembles the filter on a regular cigarette, and a long white tube resembling the part of a regular cigarette that normally holds the tobacco but instead is used to heat up what’s in the cartridge so it can be sucked into your mouth as a mist, creating the same sensation as smoking.
The cartridges need to be replaced periodically, though they each generally last for the equivalent of an entire pack (around 20) of regular cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are posed by their proponents as “safe” alternatives to regular cigarettes since e-smokers inhale an electronically charged mist containing nicotine and exhale odorless water vapor. I’ve tried them and they work as advertised, though I can’t vouch for their actual safety.
The Times reports that Blu is planning for future versions of its connected e-cigarettes to “be tethered to a smartphone through an app” and will even “monitor how much people are smoking and report back to them – or to their doctors.” So smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and, if you’re a Blu smoker, you’ll definitely know who’s got ‘em.
Read: A Social Networking Device for Smokers (New York Times)