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For Manufacturers: Advice from Disabled

Discussion in 'Ask FC' started by BillyBudd, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. BillyBudd

    BillyBudd New Member

    Hey FC, my first post here although I've lurked for years to get advice and information on devices, techniques and edibles. I love this site and am so glad all your guys are here advocating, criticizing and making the vaping world better.

    My primary goal these days when purchasing a new device is "will my wife be able to use it?" She has primary progressive MS, has little sensitivity in her fingers and poor strength in her hands. This in addition to being in a wheelchair makes things especially difficult for her to manage on her own at times.

    With all the new devices that have been released over the last year or two, and the plethora of new ones on the horizon, I've seen little focused discussion on the functionality of these devices for the disabled. This is something that I think should be key in all device designs, yet seems to be an after thought in almost all that I have seen. If a designer comes across this thread and would like any specific feedback feel free to ask here on in a PM, I'm here to help make things better for people like my wife.

    I wanted to just throw a couple of design elements that i'd like you to consider when prototyping a new device or an update to an existing one.

    Buttons: Buttons should be fairly easy to push, should be raised a little to make them easier to discern, and using combinations of buttons to access certain functionality should be avoided. Our current favorite device is the Solo, but it can be difficult for my wife to press both of the buttons at the same time to turn the device on.

    Chamber: Access to the chamber to load and empty is perhaps the biggest challenge I see in most designs regarding ease of use for the disabled. The mechanism to open the chamber should be as simple to operate as possible (the magnetic style of the pax is nice), again avoiding the requirement to use both hands simultaneously to open or lock after its loaded (like having to hold in a button/lock with one hand while opening the chamber with the other). What seems simple to most can really be very challenging and difficult for others depending on their disability.

    Safety: Although we love the Solo, she has burned herself many times with the glass mouthpiece after a session. Using materials that don't conduct heat as much would be interesting to see (while still maintaining the pure taste of using glass), anything that could help the less coordinated keep from hurting themselves after use. As long as the flower mixture gets to the right temp is all that matters right? :-)
  2. vape4health

    vape4health Boro padawan

    Not a manufacturer but I have one tid bit, the AC adapter for the solo eliminates pushing both buttons for off or on, the solo will go to idle when you plug it in and shutoff when you pull it. (Not sure about the newest Solo's)
    For the stem I think someone has or had one made of the log type plastic stem or wood maybe, the metal bowl will still be hot but its less exposed really hot stuff.
    Snappo and Caligula like this.
  3. Caligula

    Caligula Maximus

    SB420 Land!
    While it wont eliminate the hot glass aspect (similar to the Solo) the EpicVape E Nano log style vape meets your other requirements. The power and heat level are controlled by a single analog dial that you turn left or right (like a radio dial) and theres nothing to open or close.

    The unit is also smaller/lighter than a Solo and requires much less time per session.

    Might want to look into that as long as you dont mind having to plug it into an outlet.
    BLAZING OG and Snappo like this.
  4. stickstones

    stickstones Vapor concierge


    Thanks so much for that post. This site was all recreation in the very beginning...and I mean like the first five or ten of us. Since that time we have had many members show up with medical needs. I am testing a couple of new units now and typically focus on the vapor quality, efficiency, etc. Thanks to your thoughtful post I will put more time into thinking through usage issues for those more challenged than myself. Thanks!
    Buildozer, DDave, BLAZING OG and 3 others like this.
  5. vorrange

    vorrange Vapor.wise

    I've been racking my brain after reading your post and you are absolutely right.

    Most units are not very good for someone with MS or other problems that affect motor skills.

    I was thinking that perhaps the Herbalaire would be a more hazard free unit since it has no glass but i dunno about the metal crucible. PLus you can do bags, whip or direct draw and don't need to grind it which is one less thing for your wife to worry about.

    Thank you for bringing this to the forum's attention. :)
    RUDE BOY and BLAZING OG like this.

    BLAZING OG Vaping is a way of life!

    Sherman Oaks, CA
    A e-nano for a desktop , a firefly seems like a good option, the pinnacle pro is great and one button operation, easy button press but the hot bullet can be an issue unless there is a place to empty and drop to cool while re loading a cold fresh one. The solo might win in taste vs. pinnacle pro due to the solo's glass mouthpiece/stem.

    I havent used a firefly but really seems like a good option, great flavor like the solo's, it does require a button to be pressed for xx amount of seconds, the chamber can be emptied and re- loaded in a snap it seems.

    davinci ascent might have gotten there issues straightened out , it might be another good option.

    Inhalater XP seems like the simplest, just turn a dial wait for it to reach temps, and inhale. The capsules seems to be able to be handled with out burning oneself , it too has its issues though.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
    Caligula likes this.

    RUDE BOY Space is the Place

    @BillyBudd I also have noticed this "problem" with vaporizers. I have neuropathy in my hands so I have weakness, numbness, cramps and that pins and needles little pricking stabbing feeling, not as debilitating as other ailments or diseases such as MS or PD but a pain in the ass. Still the biggest obstacle can be just loading a vaporizer.

    A year and a half or so ago I woke up and found I had lost the use of my left hand(since regained) and found it very hard to use my vaporgenie classic and the DaVinci impossible. I could use my MFLB and WISPR but then couldn't grind my own herb. There seems to be many vaporizers that want to pass themselves off as medical devices but are not so usable by people with disabilities or limited use and control of their hands.

    I am just hoping that as medical marijuana gains momentum and more states have legal access we will see more designs that are truly user friendly for the medical community. Things have come a long way in the last few years so I have no doubt we will have much better choices in the coming year or two.
    BLAZING OG, nopartofme and rekrab like this.

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