Electronic Cigarettes Getting the Biometric Treatment
Look out for the Vapor X biometric electronic cigarette from Vapor Corp! Whew, it seems like electronic cigarettes swept into recognition just yesterday, and with it an almost futuristic technology that would allow you to smoke, but in a new way and without many of the hazards we associate with smoking. I know when I first began speaking to people about electronic cigarettes they looked at me pretty funny.
Just like with any technology, it was bound to evolve and improve upon itself. Over the past five years e-cigarettes did get better, with longer battery life, better flavor output, and more transparency. Only now we’re seeing some real modern technology being implemented by Vapor Corp. The publicly traded company (stock symbol VPCO), which distributes brands such as Fifty-One, Krave, Green Puffer, and EZ Smoker, unveiled the first biometric e-cigarette last month.
If you think you haven’t heard about biometrics, you are probably wrong. Biometric technology is basically a fancy term for what we all call fingerprint scanning, although that isn’t all the technology can do. This technology has really taken off in the past couple of years, going beyond the James Bond image that the name conjures up. Now biometrics have entered our daily lives, with the two major cell phone makers, Samsung and Apple, having incorporated the technology into their latest handsets. If you have a new smart phone, chances are you are already using biometric technology to make sure nobody can access your phone without your permission. With Vapor Corp. set to release its own biometric e-cigarette in the second half of 2014, your electronic cigarette can join the same “smart” world you live in to provide similar security.
Now, when I heard about this I thought to myself, why the heck would I need to secure my e-cig like I secure my phone? Surely there is no private data in my electric cigarette and it also doesn’t cost anywhere near what a new smart phone does. One reason, albeit not a very strong one to everyone, is that it would prevent others from using my electronic cigarette. I’m no germaphobe, so others swapping spit on my e-cig is their problem not mine, but I do understand how e-cigarette users with kids (especially rebellious teenagers) would sleep easier knowing their little ones can’t sneak a puff or two on daddy or mommy’s e-cig. Baseless or not (and that’s an entirely different discussion), a recent study showed that 44% of adults worry that e-cigarettes will encourage kids to smoke. If there are e-cigarette users in that group, this type of protection would go a long way in easing their concerns.
Still, that can’t be the only reason a company like Vapor Corp. would invest time and money to incorporate biometric technology in their upcoming Vapor X personal vaporizer. Especially when their new device will go for somewhere between $199 and $299, which is much more expensive than the mainstream e-cigarette Kit will cost you these days.
When Kevin Frija, their CEO, explained that “by incorporating this biometric user identity technology into the Vapor X personal vaporizer, the door is opened to many customizable features” he did broaden my scope a bit as far as what to expect. But it was his next point that turned on that imaginary light bulb above my head for that “ah ha” moment. Frija continued by stating that..
“Much like the fitness mobile app technology we have seen gain recent popularity, vaporizer users will soon be able to download their ‘vaping’ statistics through a corresponding mobile application in order to track exactly how often they use the device.”
Woah! This is what I was waiting for, something that could open the door to the next evolution in e-cigarettes for the mainstream. If you use electronic cigarettes you will at some point realize that the advantage of being able to take one singular puff and put away your e-cig whenever you want can easily turn into a disadvantage. You don’t really know how much you are “vaping” in the way you knew how much you smoked. Taking a drag on your e-cig can become so fun and easy, that you get to the point where you feel like maybe you use it more than you really need to or definitely more than you have to. It is also hard to tell how much value you are getting out of your current brand and if they are meeting their advertised puff count or not. All of this is solved when you can track how much you use your electronic cigarette in the same way that you can track how much you run with your favorite smart phone app.
When all is said and done, Vapor Corp. does have something very interesting on their hands here and it could really fill the needs of an emerging e-cigarette population. As with any device, the more people use it, the more they will expect out of their technology and what they can do with it. So kudos to Vapor Corp. for trying to stay one step ahead of that curve. The question remains as to how affordable a device like this can be to the market it is intended for. That will make all the difference between a fun new gadget that is valuable to some of the market, to a trendsetting device that will have to be replicated or competed against by the rest of the industry. We at ECCR look forward to the release of Vapor X so we can see just well this idea can be pulled off and what it means for all of us in the electronic cigarette community.