The Meatrix

The sound of my face

Car lighters: The new digital cupholders

Road warriors now carry so many electronic devices that automobile manufacturers are outfitting their cars with extra cigarette-lighter slots, for recharging. CNN.com calls them “the new cupholders”, and reports:

In model-year 2004, there are 47 vehicles that come, standard, with five or six lighter sockets, according to Carsdirect.com. In 1998, no vehicles came with that many.

Technically speaking, “lighter socket” is not even an accurate term since in many cases those extra sockets won’t work with a cigarette lighter, according to Ali Elhaj, president of Casco, an auto parts company that claims to have invented the automobile cigarette lighter.

Naturally, this has produced a profusion of everyday household devices that are now outfitted to work in a car-lighter slot. That curling iron pictured above? Yep: You can plug it in and tease some curls into your hair as you drive. I can only imagine the magnificent new accidents this little baby will produce; some PR chick en route to E3 will accidentally burn herself, jerk the steering wheel, and send a sidewalkful of geriatrics flying like ten-pins.

Not to be outdone, the computer geeks at FrozenCPU have responded with a nice bit of ourobouran logic. They’ve created a car-style cigarette lighter that you instal on your computer.

(Thanks to Boing Boing for this one!)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Search This Site


I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

More of Me


Recent Comments

Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson