Apparently, the news about Blu Cigs’ new social networking device, the “smart” blu pack I blogged about a couple days ago was big enough to make it in an article that appeared on the front of The New York Times technology page yesterday.
I feel strongly that I need to put this in perspective though.. When I found this news it showed up right between articles about Microsoft AND Google!!
This is another great victory for electronic cigarettes and Blu Cigs in particular. At the risk of violating copyright, I took a screen shot and annotated with red arrows and a red box to illustrate the positioning of the story as you can see at the start of this article.
Link to this page while you can before the DCMA police make me take it down!
In case you didn’t read my last post, Blu Cigs recently announced they are enhancing their “blu pack” which previously was a mobile charger and storage device for Blu Cigs electronic cigarettes.
Now, the blu pack will also include several new social networking features such as wirelessly detecting other “smart” blu packs and also Blu Cigs retailers within 50 feet. Once connected wirelessly the packs can communicate profile info of the smokers or retailers that can be downloaded to a computer later depending on privacy settings.
This is big enough news that outlets like The New York Times are picking up on it.
Blu’s intent, as all businesses, is to get more free publicity and marketing and ultimately more customers and money. A pleasant side effect of this is that more people will start smoking electronic cigarettes and be better off in terms of their wealth and possibly (probably) their health.
Ironically, Brustein’s report has a skeptical tone and this makes me wonder. Did he know what position his article would be in on that NYT tech page? He writes:
You’ll meet more people than ever, just because of the wow factor,” said Jason Healy, the founder of Blu, who did not appear to be making friends as he exhaled the odorless vapor of an e-cigarette at a coffee shop in Midtown Manhattan recently. “It’s like with any new technology.”
I don’t think Healy is talking about the wireless functionality of the new blu pack at this point. That part can’t have a “wow factor” because no one can see it and it would be no different than the prior blu pack. But, Brustein cleverly weaves in the aforementioned quote.
Brustein also quotes Charles S. Golvin of Forrester Research who apparently studies connected devices who said:
“The way that groups of affinity are conferred just by physical proximity makes a bit of sense,” he said. “If someone walks by with a Nintendo, great, I share a common interest. The fact that I walk by a smoker? Seems like a weak link.”
Not just a smoker, an e cig smoker.. This guy probably doesn’t smoke and I guarantee you he doesn’t smoke electronic cigarettes.
Yes, it is true some smokers balk at the concept even when presented with the benefits, but smokers are dwindling in numbers and at this point and, unfortunately, e cig smokers are even more rare despite all the mainstream media attention lately.
This makes the connection between e cig smokers even STRONGER.
Take a step back people. At the end of the day, no matter what anyone says, Blu Cigs’ new social networking enhanced blu pack made news right alongside Google and Microsoft.