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Juul is releasing a new Bluetooth-enabled vape pen that will allow users to monitor how often they use the device.
Following a pilot program in Canada, the Juul C1 is now available to U.K. users looking to modernize their vaping habit.
The device, which retails for £24.99 ($30 USD), is designed to work in conjunction with an Android app. Users can monitor how often they vape, locate their device if it’s lost, or even lock the device remotely to keep others from using it.
Juul has also taken steps to keep the C1 out of the hands of underage users. In a statement to The Verge, a Juul spokesperson said that users must prove their age before purchasing the new device.
“To purchase the JUUL C1 device currently available on our e-commerce Web sites in Canada and the U.K., customers have to go through a strict age-verification process,” the spokesperson said. “This process includes submitting photos of an identification document that are checked against third-party databases to verify the customer’s age and identity.”
Data collected by the app, Juul also stressed, is not connected to the user’s identity. The e-cigarette startup says other features such as usage limits could be added in the future.
It remains unclear if a device, once registered to a legal user, could simply be sold or given to an underage user or whether pairing the device to a new phone would trigger any age-verification mechanisms.
The new app comes after repeated criticism of the company over its widespread popularity among underage users. Last year Juul shut down its U.S.-based Facebook and Instagram accounts so as not to inadvertently advertise its products to children.
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H/T The Verge
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.