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Vaping Technologies at Consumer Electronics Show

E-cigarettes figured prominently at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month, according to the article"Circuit vapers: the e-cig is getting an upgrade" in The Verge, a news source that covers the interface between technology and culture.

No one seems particularly worried about public use bans slapped on the public by hand-wringing officials.

Instead, the focus is on futuristic new technologies, says author Adrianne Jeffries, and e-cigs are at the forefront, fueled by burgeoning profits. Vaping is a "disruptive technology," commented Kevin Frija of Vapor Corp, as he passed out chocolate- and coffee-flavored vaporizers to visitors at his company's party at a nearby hotel. The term "disruptive" is used by market wonks, without necessarily a negative connotation, to refer to game-changing new developments, products that change markets and "disrupt" corporate plans.

An example of the high-tech future is a biometric e-cig projected by Frija's company, that plans to use fingerprint recognition to keep the vaporizer away from the vaper's kids or roommates. That may seem like overkill, as one comment to the Verge article caviled, but think how the feature might play to a would-be nanny from the New York City Council, the FDA, or MHRA in Britain, fretful about the product's potential for getting teens addicted to nicotine. There's also an RJ Reynolds display at the CES, showing off their Vuse product, with its microprocessor and memory chip, said to render the heat and vapor more consistent.

Future vaporizers will be enabled with Bluetooth, says Jeffries, allowing apps to monitor usage and nicotine levels. Another possibility is the addition of gyroscopic devices for "gesture recognition".

Other exhibitors of vaping products at CES this year include formerly pioneering Chinese companies such as Shenzhen and Sky, once at the forefront of the market, but no longer quite so cutting edge, according to Verge.

The article notes the entry of Big Tobacco into the e-cig market, but does not seem to think that smaller companies will be driven from the market as a result. "[It] doesn’t mean the scrappy startups are going to disappear,"comments author Jeffries. Indeed, some of the most innovative technologies are being explored by mid-sized companies like Smokio and Vapor Corp, and Jeffries also notes that companies like NJOY are "aggressively expanding". She even describes the attitude of CEOs like Frija and others as "swaggering", depicting the industry as confident and not troubled by the wave of public use bans. It seems that marketers expect people to find places to vape, no matter what.

As a case in point, although vaping is supposedly forbidden in the convention site, Jeffries claims to have seen lots of vaping going on. And at a party held at "The Marquis", a poolside watering spot at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, "e-cig lights flickered across the dance floor," making the affair look like a futuristic scene, according to the article.