TMCnet Feature
September 16, 2019

Smart Vaping - How E-Cigarette Technology Is Rapidly Evolving



Technology all around us is growing at a rapid, arguably uncontrollable, rate every day. Electronic devices are becoming smaller and increasingly more intelligent, and this is none more apparent than in vaping.

Since 2003, when the traditional modern e-cigarette was invented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, the e-cigarette industry has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar market. This has then led vaping to accelerate into a thriving, technologically-challenging business in which companies are consistently competing to release the most advanced products possible.



As tobacco companies continue to buy into the vaping industry, investment into the resourcing of vape design and manufacturing have risen significantly, resulting in an upsurge of technological expansion. This technology ranges from touchscreen capabilities and miniature PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards), to Bluetooth Geofencing which aims to combat minors vaping, all of which push the boundaries of what seemed merely like science fiction a few years ago. We examine the ‘smart vaping’ generation and its effect on technology in general to see just what’s next for the burgeoning e-cigarette’s future.

The E-Volution

Many experts have categorised the timescale of the modern e-cigarette into three generations; the first being in 2003 when as mentioned, Hon Lik invented the simple cigalike which resembled a cigarette in design. These sleek devices also included easy to use clearomizers, featuring a short battery life coupled with limited flavour options, ultimately unable to penetrate the market as well as expected.

The second generation followed swiftly and catapulted the industry into a revolution that surged on a global scale. Vape stores and distributors opened up at breakneck speed both online and in local high street shops. This generation saw the development and sales of pen vape kits and removable battery devices, coupled with innovative output modes which enhanced the user experience with a more personalised feel. The range of e-liquid flavours also multiplied excessively, to create a culture of vaping enthusiasts who embraced mechanics as well as an endless choice of experimental flavours. This is even more evident today, especially in the UK where the taste for varied flavours makes it one of the most profitable markets for e-liquid manufacturers.

The third and present generation takes into account each vaper’s desire to customise. This has led to the rise of rebuildable atomisers, pod kits and larger mods, as well as the inclusion of advanced features, which have furthered the efficiency and performance of what was the archetypal vape device. All of this comes due to the increasing inclusion of PCBs as they give access to high-tech features and modes, such as safety protections and Temperature Control, all of which naturally lengthen the lifespan of a vape device. This era has effectively been known as the ‘smart vaping’ generation.

Over the years, there’s been Bluetooth speaker integrated models, vape kits which come with proprietary mobile apps to sync and track your vaping data, and even the world’s first vaping wristwatch. This signifies a booming rise in the technology of what was once solely just a less harmful alternative to smoking. Furthermore, the term ‘smart vaping’ (presumably influenced by the phrase smartphone), shows that the brains behind the vaping industry have elevated vape devices with iconic technological innovation. The industry has widened the goalposts so that what once seemed groundbreaking is now just simply the norm.  

Saying that, most companies and distributors make the bulk of their profit on simple starter kits or pod devices that are intended for users who are transitioning from smoking, yet these state of the art devices are propelling vaping progressively forwards to quench user’s thirsts for cutting-edge features and functions.

The Future Beckons...

Experts predict that sooner rather than later vape devices will rival (or even integrate into) smartphones, to place them firmly within the upper echelons of technological advancement. . More recently, JUUL who remain the most notorious manufacturer in the business, have unveiled a Bluetooth-enabled pod kit, the C1. This device incorporates Geofencing technology that prevents the kit from being activated within schools and public area zones, whilst also requiring user authentication to unlock and fire up. This clever move is to combat the high magnitude of bad press aimed at the San Francisco vaping moguls regarding teenage vaping.

As well as the geofencing technology, the device also requires users to submit a photo to verify their age. JUUL’s Dan Thomson has been adamant in saying that, ‘The objective of us designing this product was not for us to collect data per se, it was to be able to give data to customers''. The company also clarifies that it has no plans to sell this data to third parties.

This form of accessible and affordable technology not only enhances the vaping experience but also protects e-cigarettes from getting into the wrong hands. This definitely needs to be repeated more across the industry to eradicate the problem of underage vaping.

As vape equipment and chipsets get smaller, no one knows what the future will hold for the next pioneering device, except that it’s guaranteed not to disappoint vapers. Whether it’s a flying vaping drone, or an AI controlled kit, the future certainly looks bright and we doubt that you’ll have to wait much longer for your next vaping upgrade.

Author Bio

Jack Garofalo is a freelance writer who documents music, art and culture for a variety of outlets including Red Bull, TRENCH, Dazed and The Source (News - Alert). He enjoys playing sports, cooking obscure food and throwing sticks for his dog Squash. Contact: https://twitter.com/JDGarofalo



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