(You're reading all posts by Traci Dauphin) Traci Dauphin is the office manager and all round organizer at Cult of Mac. She keeps the trains running on time. Traci also writes product reviews and shoots great galleries of events like Macworld.
About Traci Dauphin
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.
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.
LAS VEGAS — Apple Pay is cool, but what if you don’t have the latest iPhone 6? The Plastc Card might be for you.
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.
LAS VEGAS — Keith Nothacker is living proof that persistence pays off.
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.
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.
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.
SAN FRANCISCO — Right in the middle of the Macworld show floor, there’s a circle of 12 tables. They’re showing off a range of cool gadgets, like a combination battery/wall charger and a clever foldable iPhone stand.
The site is the brainchild of Chris Johnson. After founding the site three years ago, Johnson has grown it from $45,000 in annual revenues to more than $500,000. He runs the whole operation himself out of his small apartment in New York.
He’s even making a profit on the 12 tables here at Macworld.
LAS VEGAS — Walking the long, dusty road between the Encore Hotel and the CES Convention Center, I was approached by two guys. They offered to give me a ride. I know I should never accept rides from strangers but their offer was to good to pass up. It was the most creative and original marketing ploy I’ve seen at CES.
LAS VEGAS –Brookstone’s Perfect Drink is an app-Controlled smart bartending system that’s a dream come true for the cocktail-challenged. If you become paralyzed when confronted with a liquor cabinet, Perfect Drink is all but guaranteed to turn you into a bartending genius with it’s real-time pouring instructions.
LAS VEGAS — Remember the View-Master? I used to spend hours looking at 3D reels but after awhile the same pictures got boring. Now, a Kickstarter startup called Poppy has taken the immersive 3D scenes concept but instead of stock photos, you can take your own iPhone photos and videos and make them 3D.
LAS VEGAS — Home security, solar-powered gadgets and health accessories will be big technology themes of 2014, if what’s on show at CES is to be believed. At the kickoff media event here, manufacturers provided first peeks at their wares for the new year.
Here are some the best gadgets we saw: