Lighters must have been among the last things that weren’t connected to our smartphones. If you’re an adept of the quantified self concept, you need to measure everything you do or consume, and the amount of cigarettes you smoke shouldn’t be an exception.
However, Boston-based Quitbit’s smart lighter isn’t about setting records or about who smokes more cigarettes in 24 hours. The noble goal of this device is to help you quit.
Ata Ghofrani, one of the co-founders of Quitbit (the other one being Kuji Nakano) “The first idea was a package for cigarettes and each time you removed a cigarette it would track it, but we quickly iterated because we realized the lighter would be the easiest way. It’s the way with the least friction for someone who wants to reduce their smoking, because it doesn’t require a new device. We just replace your lighter with our lighter, and then you get all the benefits of being more mindful of your smoking habits.”
Since there are many countries whose government agencies run campaigns to encourage people to quite smoking, Ghofrani and Nakano asked for their help: “There is so much out there related to smoking cessation right now. That’s good and bad for us. We’ve actually gone out, especially when we were just starting out in Providence, and tried to work with some of these government agencies that work on this problem. Because there is so much out there right now, government agencies are reluctant to work with programs that are not clinically proven.”
Quitbit is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, where the company is hoping to reach the $50K goal it has set. Should the campaign be successful, anyone pledging $69 as an Early Bird or $89 as a regular backer will get their Quitbit smart lighter in December.
The idea of a lighter that connects via Bluetooth LE to Android and iOS smartphones is pretty cool, especially since the device is supposed to help you quit smoking. Quitbit even encourages people to give their smart lighter to a needy friend after managing to quit.
Here are some personal thoughts for the end of this post. I could never understand nicotine addiction. I smoked casually (or is it called socially?) for a few years, and stopped suddenly, without feeling the urge to smoke again. In case of the weaker ones who cannot stop just like that, I can understand the need for a gadget that helps them stop in a few steps.
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