Quitbit smart lighter helps you kick cigarettes’ butts


The Quitbit smart lighter can help you quit smoking by tracking your habits. Photo: Quitbit

LAS VEGAS — Ata Ghofrani cut down on smoking and finally quit during the holidays. The only glitch was a New Year’s Eve party, which triggered a “huge spike” in his otherwise fairly smooth reduction schedule.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 Ghofrani used his own invention — Quitbit, the world’s first “smart” lighter — to monitor his smoking and set a daily “budget” of cancer sticks that decreased every day.

“The key for me was to know how many cigarettes I budgeted to smoke a day and how many I had left,” he wrote in a blog post detailing his progress.

The Quitbit uses the same psychology as fitness trackers. If you can monitor it, you can manage it.

Plastc organizes all your cards in one device


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Plastc is a simple device that organizes credit and debit cards. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — Apple Pay is cool, but what if you don’t have the latest iPhone 6? The Plastc Card might be for you.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 Plastc is a chameleon-like electronic card that stores up to 20 cards — debit, credit, gift and even security cards.

It’s the same size and shape as a regular card, but has a sharp and striking e-ink display. You simply swipe through the e-ink screen to choose the card you want, and swipe the mag stripe through the reader.

Instead of carrying 20 cards in your wallet, you carry just one.

Bringing this iPhone breathalyzer to market was a sobering affair


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Keith Nothacker fought long and hard to bring his BACtrack breathalyzers to boozers everywhere. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — Keith Nothacker is living proof that persistence pays off.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 Nothacker is here at the giant International CES gadget show to introduce a key-size version of his pocket breathalyzer — the first personal, police-grade breathalyzer approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Connected by bluetooth to your iPhone, a quick puff into the $49 BACtrack Vio will tell you instantly if you’re too juiced to drive — or take part in any other activity best done sober.

But 13 years ago, Nothacker was fighting the FDA to bring the device to market.

Science takes the guesswork out of baking the perfect cookie


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Darin Barri and Michael Wallace, inventors of Perfect Drink and Perfect Bake. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — For more than 10 years, Michael Wallace and Darin Barri were toy designers. Depressed about plummeting sales because of video games, the pair went on a week long bender to drown their sorrows.


They both loved lychee martinis, which are tricky to make. They dreamed of a smart cocktail mixer that uses weight — rather than volume — to make mixed drinks. So they hacked a kitchen scale with some electronics and coded an app. The resulting system, called Perfect Drink, makes it impossible to screw up martinis and dozens of other cocktails. They took it to Brookstone, who loved it and put it on the market. Eighteen months later, they’ve sold 120,000 units.

Now they’re back with Perfect Bake, a foolproof baking system that uses the weight of ingredients, rather than volume, to guide clueless home bakers.

iPhone 6 resellers crowd out Apple fans at front of lines


apple line
Customers outside the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco, moments before the door opened Friday. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Since Apple won’t be selling the iPhone 6 in China for some time, early buyers of the smartphone have an opportunity to make a quick profit by reselling the hot handset on the gray market.

The first 50 people in line at Apple’s San Francisco store this morning appeared to be iPhone resellers — a pattern that seems to be  have been repeated worldwide on the first day of iPhone 6 sales.