Zippo, can you spare a virtual lighter?

Aug 30, 2009
OMG

Who among us has reached for a lighter before the encore of a rock concert only to come up empty? Without a cigarette lighter, there is no way  to wave back and fourth and become a part of that great sea of lights. Now, with an iPhone app called the Virtual Zippo Lighter, all you […]

Who among us has reached for a lighter before the encore of a rock concert only to come up empty? Without a cigarette lighter, there is no way  to wave back and fourth and become a part of that great sea of lights. Now, with an iPhone app called the Virtual Zippo Lighter, all you need to do is hold up your phone to be a part of the action.

The app allows users to select a cigarette lighter from a dozen different colors and styles, including a peace sign, the grim reaper and — my personal favorite — a pink butterfly. Then you can customize the lighter by engraving a short message on its surface, choosing from several different font types.

Once your hard work is done, it is time to play with the lighter. Using your fingertips, you flip open the lid of lighter, just as if you were holding its 3D version in your hand. Flick your finger across the flint wheel, and a two-inch flame flares up, complete with realistic sound effects. Turn your phone to the left or right, and the flame will follow, burning in different directions.

While the app makes for a cool virtual substitute at a concert, it won’t do you much good at a campsite. It can’t actually light anything. For that, you still have to carry the real thing.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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