The Beam Sensor Lighter
From the Print Edition:
Tyson vs. King, Jan/Feb 04
You know that your favorite science fiction superheroes had flying cars and laser guns, but how did they light their cigars? We may never be quite sure, but the smart money says that if Buck Rogers or Captain Kirk ever needed to fire up a smoke, the Beam Sensor Lighter from Colibri would be their phaser of choice.
The ultramodern metal lighter ignites using a battery-powered beam of light that runs down the spine of the lighter in place of the flint ignition system found on more traditional lighters. It has a push-button locking cap and a simple monochromatic exterior, which at first glance is hardly extraterrestrial. However, flipping back the lid triggers the dazzling red glow of a light beam. A touch of your finger or any object interrupting the stream clicks an electrical spark that fires the adjustable butane flame (big enough to light almost any size cigar is the claim). Whether Beam Sensor is held sideways, upside down or just placed on a table right side up, the flame stays lit, making it perfect for a zero-gravity environment, although under Earth's gravitational pull it should be used only in the upright position, according to the company. Colibri also advises that the lighter not stay lit for more than five to ten seconds at a time.
Surprisingly, this futuristic device is actually retro. According to the manufacturer, it was first introduced in 1979 and advertised on television through the old rabbit ears of your tube. The concept was ahead of its time then, but due to manufacturing constraints, the lighter landed on the company back burner.
Now, reengineered to be compatible with the everyday power pack (read: a watch battery), the Beam Sensor Lighter is up to twenty-first-century standards. It is available in a number of finishes, including silver, gold, pearl and gun metal, and retails for $100 at fine Earthling tobacconists.
For more information or for store locations, call Colibri at 800-556-7354 or visit www.colibri.com.
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