Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 84

FEATURE SMART VAPES: THE NEXT STAGE OF MOD TECHNOLOGY? FROM ‘FIND MY VAPE’ TO ‘GEOFENCING.’ JUST HOW ‘SMART’ IS SMART VAPE TECHNOLOGY? BY LEO FORFAR As the centrepiece of the vape trade, the mod is always evolving. The quest for the ultimate nicotine, flavour and throat hit delivery system will never end, and chasing that perfect balance keeps consumers – both struggling smokers and veteran vaper hobbyists – on the hunt. With the digital revolution leading global culture, and technology shaping almost everything we do, it’s no surprise that our mods are evolving along the same cultural lines. Maximising our hardware’s potential is crucial to achieving smoking cessation. As the user’s life literally hangs in the balance, vape companies have been going all out to make this happen. Already there are a myriad of device-connected apps calculating nicotine dosage, frequency of puffs and the ohms level, many of them synced to devices. Voice-activated devices such as the SMOK I-Priv 230W and Wismec Active kits are making waves, adding a new level of efficiency to the experience. The latter even features a Bluetooth-enabled speaker for playing music, a function that once migrated from the Walkman to the smartphone. Now finding its way to the mod, showing how essential the device is to the mobile vaper. CANNABIS VAPORISERS AND A CONTROLLED HIGH The growth of CBD and THC in the vape market has been one of the strongest recent catalysts for such innovation. Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp filed a patent application for a smart pen in November last year. The patent is still pending as of this printing, as cannabis vaporisers are not yet legal. But a look at the patent application form reveals how much hope and work is already going into such a pen. It hasn’t passed through the vetting process yet, but Canopy Growth’s proposed pen has an impressive array of features. One notable function of this device would allow is for the user to track it down should they misplace it. A feeling of panic and loss 84 | VM21 those who have left their mod at a random stand at a colossal expo will be all too familiar with. This feature is made possible by the same technology as the Find iPhone™ app as used by Apple® Another feature likely to please tech enthusiasts is the availability of linking ones vape device to one’s smartphone. The company describes this function as: “A personal vaporizer device or “vape device” that can communicate with smart phones or devices and operate in conjunction with applications running thereon to control and monitor the use of the vape device by a user.” The pen would also sync up with data collected by devices such as FitBit, providing an ongoing analysis of the user’s lifestyle habits. TRACKING MISUSE OF E-CIGARETTES It appears some e-cigarette companies and advocates are hoping that a more sophisticated, controllable mod can alleviate improper (and illegal) use. One problem that isn’t going away any time soon is the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers in the US. JUUL is hoping to roll out Bluetooth-enabled devices at some point this year: “We are actively evaluating new technologies and features to help keep JUUL out of the hands of young people,” JUUL spokesperson Victoria Davis said. These new technologies even extend to locking mods out of use specific to location, with ‘geofences’ around schools. Activation of new devices would require age verification via PIN numbers and potentially biometric data. Such advances would require thorough FDA vetting. Certain institutions outside of the vape trade are already giving similar technology a trial run. Cybersecurity and environmental intelligence company Soter Technologies have developed AI called Fly Sense, which has sensors capable of detecting any vaping happening in the room. Founder and CEO Derek Peterson says it was originally used to monitor sound anomalies associated