Innovation and the future of the portable vaporiser Industry

AK-47

Member
Hello everyone, just wanted to share my thoughts and hear your opinion regarding this topic.

After the recent vape mail ban and the rant from Budjamin (https://forum.vapelife.com/discussion/6797/the-state-of-vape-2021-somebody-has-to-say-it), I thought about the future of portable vapes and innovation that is happening right now.

Imho I see a huge potential and innovation in dynavap devices in combination with stems such as the simrell vortex and additional accessories such as conduction heaters with temperature control.

Of all the hq vaporisers that I had so far, dynavap was the easiest to clean and maintain. It's almost unbreakable. Having a temp control conduction heater and a lighter for on the go solve all my pains.

Compared to the hopper that I ordered recently and that is a great device as well, dynavap is still killing it. Because the hopper can break quite easily and has a high price tag.

Where do you see the next step of innovation and the future of the industry?
 

Farid

Well-Known Member
For many years it seemed like there were two totally different vaporizer industries: the big name brands like S&B, PAX, Arizer that you might see at a smoke shop, and that your stoner buddies might have heard of.... And the small craft brands like firewood, RBT, lotus, etc. that were beloved by enthusiasts, but remained virtually unknown outside of our bubble.

While the looming legislation puts a damper on investment and makes risk all the riskier, I think this has a much more negative effect on the big brands versus the craft manufacturers. The little guys will have a lot easier a time flying under the radar. Their overhead is lower, and they don't rely on wholesale distribution the way the big brands do.

I also agree we could be entering the heyday for butane devices (and possibly desktops as well).

But what I'm most excited for is more people experimenting with DIY and hand made devices.

It's also important to remember that there is a whole wide world outside the US. I predict we'll see more products coming out of places like South America and Europe, where there are already many thriving small manufacturers.
 

WelshBrok

Well-Known Member
Imho I see a huge potential and innovation in dynavap devices in combination with stems such as the simrell vortex and additional accessories such as conduction heaters with temperature control.
Might be an unpopular opinion but I feel new stems and temp controlled induction heaters is more iterative rather than particularly innovative as digital temp control has been around in vapes for at least 14 years and heatsinks generally even longer.

I guess it depends on your definition of innovation but in my opinion I don’t think we’ll see any big innovations in portable vapes until we see the limitations on portables mitigated (advances in battery tech allowing greater power or more cost effective manufacturing processes allowing more use of specialised materials).
 

invertedisdead

Weapons of VAS Destruction
I actually agree with some of Bud's premise, however I have to comment on a few things from my perspective.

All of the devices he named "revolutionary" besides the MFLB, were all considered very expensive in their day. I wanted a Mighty so bad, but they debuted at $479, so instead I opted for an Air the very day they were released.

If the question is why haven't we seen more innovation in vaporizers, IMO it's largely due to the Cheap Chinese Portable boom which came around 2014-2015 after the Air and Crafty releases. This was two-fold.

1. It started the pattern of clone vapes ex: Boundless take on a cheaper Mighty
2. It flooded local smoke shops with low quality imported products that would tarnish the vape industry for years to come. I still interact with people who think all vapes taste like burnt popcorn, based off one poor experience a decade ago.

First of all, to address the elephant in the room: In my opinion, the companies most "guilty" of not innovating further, are, perhaps ironically, the same ones who Bud listed as producing the most revolutionary vapes. S&B, Pax, and Arizer made all the money, if anyone had the resources to be the first one to release a major market on demand portable, it was them. Instead they've rested on their laurels, yes, but as much as I would yearn to see updates, I can't genuinely blame these companies for sticking to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" model.

The big thing that came after the cheap Chinese portable boom is it was no longer as easy to ask $500 for a vaporizer. I'm sure this trend for reduced MSRP only led to reduced R&D as well, so it's easy to see why major innovation has mostly been lateral improvements. Don't underestimate your competition either - look what happened to the Herbalizer, and that was definitely one of the most innovative.

I think Bud ragging on the Bowle and VapBong aesthetics is a bit funny, mostly because "novelty" vape designs have ALWAYS been a pretty big thing in the vape industry. In fact, I would argue the Volcano he listed as revolutionary is probably the most novel and iconic vape design of all time. I mean, the thing literally blows up a turkey bag as a fake lung to suck the vapor from, it's as novel as it gets. I feel like I could name 100 different novelty vape designs, like the Hammer, the Flashvape, the Puffit, the Grasshopper, the VaporCup etc, etc.

I guess it depends on your definition of innovation but in my opinion I don’t think we’ll see any big innovations in portable vapes until we see the limitations on portables mitigated (advances in battery tech allowing greater power or more cost effective manufacturing processes allowing more use of specialised materials).

Agreed. There's a lot of room for advancements just in modern manufacturing processes. It's mostly just the game of waiting for trickle down technology to make these processes more readily available/affordable because without charging biotech or aerospace prices for components, much of the cutting edge tech is out of reach. Also the trend of producing overseas makes local development costs much more expensive, which is a huge damper on innovation.
 

Abysmal Vapor

Saturnine in my mind
:D The world "off delta 9 " seems to suck.. Vaporizer apocalypse now ? Please... The rest of the world doesnt give a shit about that mail ban,nor company practices ,we just use our favorite vapes and are happy as fuck. Just wait till the black market sees the ban as opportunity and your government people will be back to allowing regular vape purchases,didnt that happen enough times in the history already ? I really understand how one using vapes/vaping to make a living can get sick of it,but all of sudden after years of recommending various models and ranking them ,now says all grapes are sour... :D I am pretty sure the guy that drives the ice-cream truck is sick of all flavors .
 
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Farid

Well-Known Member
I agree with you @Abysmal Vapor that a lot of the sentiments Bud is expressing are driven by the fact it's hard to find joy in products you no longer use. Imagine reviewing coffee makers if you don't drink coffee, or cars if you can't drive.

I can relate, this year I cut back my cannabis use to the point where it's hardly part of my life.

But my passion isn't based around using and reviewing new devices. Rather it's an interest that comes from years of being on FC and seeing the industry mature.

I've always been interested in this industry thriving, and seeing great products released. A few years ago I reached my own personal end game so I stopped buying new vaporizers. But that has been sort of liberating. Now when I think of a design for a vaporizer I'm not thinking of my own personal desires, but rather the desires of others.

Seeing how relentless VAS is for some people makes me believe there is still much room for innovation and new unique designs. Sure some people may have a permanent case of VAS, but I suspect many (like I was at one point) are just waiting for that perfect device to come along.
 

Dan Morrison

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
A vaporizer is a tool. Take a look at the history behind any of the tools we still use today and it's pretty clear that they follow a pattern. Invention followed by a long period of evolution based on market response and current technologies. Tools that prove useful live on, tools that are not, die.

I believe vaporizers have proven their usefulness. If the market agrees, you can expect to see vaporizer manufacturers continue on for generations to come. I really do think it's that simple.

I believe we are still in a period of flux where many manufacturers are probing the market looking for profits. This booming period is going to cool off, naturally, and a long period of slow evolution will continue on.

I feel like some people are mistaking this cool down period as a sign of the end-times, when in reality it's only the beginning.

When the big players can no longer coast, when function plateaus, this is when things will truly get interesting.

Remember, vaporizing is not a technology like Betamax. It's a fundamental process. Heating plant matter to release the consumables inside. To say that vaporizers are dying... is like saying pots and pans are dying. Vaporizers may change, but so long as we have a need for the process there will be tools to make that process more enjoyable.
 

Abysmal Vapor

Saturnine in my mind
A vaporizer is a tool. Take a look at the history behind any of the tools we still use today and it's pretty clear that they follow a pattern. Invention followed by a long period of evolution based on market response and current technologies. Tools that prove useful live on, tools that are not, die.

I believe vaporizers have proven their usefulness. If the market agrees, you can expect to see vaporizer manufacturers continue on for generations to come. I really do think it's that simple.

I believe we are still in a period of flux where many manufacturers are probing the market looking for profits. This booming period is going to cool off, naturally, and a long period of slow evolution will continue on.

I feel like some people are mistaking this cool down period as a sign of the end-times, when in reality it's only the beginning.

When the big players can no longer coast, when function plateaus, this is when things will truly get interesting.

Remember, vaporizing is not a technology like Betamax. It's a fundamental process. Heating plant matter to release the consumables inside. To say that vaporizers are dying... is like saying pots and pans are dying. Vaporizers may change, but so long as we have a need for the process there will be tools to make that process more enjoyable.
Not religious but Amen to that ! I recognize your thoughts as my own :).
 

MattyStee

Member
A vaporizer is a tool. Take a look at the history behind any of the tools we still use today and it's pretty clear that they follow a pattern. Invention followed by a long period of evolution based on market response and current technologies. Tools that prove useful live on, tools that are not, die.

I believe vaporizers have proven their usefulness. If the market agrees, you can expect to see vaporizer manufacturers continue on for generations to come. I really do think it's that simple.

I believe we are still in a period of flux where many manufacturers are probing the market looking for profits. This booming period is going to cool off, naturally, and a long period of slow evolution will continue on.

I feel like some people are mistaking this cool down period as a sign of the end-times, when in reality it's only the beginning.

When the big players can no longer coast, when function plateaus, this is when things will truly get interesting.

Remember, vaporizing is not a technology like Betamax. It's a fundamental process. Heating plant matter to release the consumables inside. To say that vaporizers are dying... is like saying pots and pans are dying. Vaporizers may change, but so long as we have a need for the process there will be tools to make that process more enjoyable.

@Dan Morrison , this is exactly the line of thinking that prompted me to put my name on your list.

As I contemplated my next purchase I took a long hard look at what was out there. "Mmmkay... Looks like the same old conduction vapes are still popular. Man, those companies are really raking it in without employing any innovation. Oh look, case in point: a new Fury device is coming out. Still 'hybrid' conduction, still no removable batteries. Am I really supposed to get hyped on a larger battery and adjustable session timer?!"

The answer was a resounding "no". Say what you will about the Taffee Bowle (Bud is clearly not a fan), but at least they're trying something different. I'm more willing to buy one of those than another S&B or HR product. We vote with our $$$, after all.

I don't know how much faith I have in the abilities of the bigger companies to weather this mail ban because of how big they've made themselves and their association with the word "vaporizer", but I find myself wondering if the ban is just facilitating a forced evolution. Once the fat is all trimmed away I'm a bit excited to see what sort of lean muscle growth will be possible.
 
MattyStee,

AK-47

Member
As I contemplated my next purchase I took a long hard look at what was out there. "Mmmkay... Looks like the same old conduction vapes are still popular. Man, those companies are really raking it in without employing any innovation. Oh look, case in point: a new Fury device is coming out. Still 'hybrid' conduction, still no removable batteries. Am I really supposed to get hyped on a larger battery and adjustable session timer?!"
100% convection is a killer feature imho. Tinymight and Hopper io have this feature. Dynavap + conduction heater as well. I don't understand why S&B etc. are not innovating in this area. Their design is also outdated imho but that's another bit topic...
 
AK-47,

WelshBrok

Well-Known Member
I don't understand why S&B etc. are not innovating in this area.
Because articles are still being written on a weekly basis that show the mighty as top portable vape 2021, which is either a powerful marketing team or the last 7 years hasn’t produced any vapes as well rounded or easy to use for most people (who aren’t far to in to vapes like the majority of us here :rofl: ). What’s the point in spending on the R&D when you’ve essentially won the mass market popularity contest consistently 7 years in a row, without any updates, face lifts, different colours or annual shiny metal tube releases

Still amazes me that with all our perceived material and QOL obsessiveness in the vape community, two propriety batteries strapped to an aluminium tube in a flimsy plastic case is still rated the best we can do
 

Farid

Well-Known Member
100% convection is a killer feature imho. Tinymight and Hopper io have this feature. Dynavap + conduction heater as well. I don't understand why S&B etc. are not innovating in this area.

I think the reason all the big name portables are conduction is not because of an inability to innovative, but rather because they are designing products to be easy to use.

With convection airflow effects the temperature so much. So its easy to combust, or not get a good hit depending how you inhale. There are ways of mitigating this, but it's difficult to eliminate all together.
 

invertedisdead

Weapons of VAS Destruction
We loosely throw around the word "innovation" but actually stating a goal would make for a better discussion. Right off the bat I'm seeing two distinctly different trains of thought here - one group who sees potential in improvements, and another that needs to see something really radical to view it as innovative.

I'm not really sure anything so different and groundbreaking will come out and change the industry forever, that would be like reinventing the wheel. but really just making the same old parts in a more efficient way could be considered really innovative for a manufacturer. S&B is the king because they understand how to make money off a vaporizer through affordable manufacturing methods.

Honestly some of the demands for innovation are interesting as in some ways the dry herb community is very resistant to change. The most interesting to me is how stubborn the dry herb community has always been in regards to oil/wax vapes. That one blows my mind a bit, that a community so passionate about vaporized oils has such relatively low interest in cleaner vapor. 🤔

A really strange phenomenon I notice is nearly every smoker I know - who openly doesn't like vaping dry herb, loves the cleaner vaping concentrates. So even people that claim to like vapor, don't like some vapor, and vice versa.
 
invertedisdead,

Farid

Well-Known Member
@invertedisdead, I think part of what you're describing comes from the fact that a many people who vape are microdosing, and concentrates can really pack a punch.

To add to that, a dab on a banger is pretty unmatched by any of the concentrate vaporizers that exist imo. I would only choose a concentrate vape over a banger if I was trying to stealth vape on the go.

I was talking to French Cannoli about this when he did a class in my area, and he described what he wants in a hashish vaporizer. He described something which can instantaneously heat the hashish from all directions at a high temp. I'm imagining some kind of butane convection vape could accomplish this well. The reason I think vaporizers haven't been a priority for people like Frenchy is that good hashish naturally vapes with a flame, since as it melts it flows away from the heat.
 

AK-47

Member
Honestly some of the demands for innovation are interesting as in some ways the dry herb community is very resistant to change. The most interesting to me is how stubborn the dry herb community has always been in regards to oil/wax vapes. That one blows my mind a bit, that a community so passionate about vaporized oils has such relatively low interest in cleaner vapor. 🤔
Even as a medical patient in my country I can mostly just buy regular weed. If I could get my hands on oil/wax cartridges and could microdose I'd be doing this right away since it would safe me a lot of time cleaning, grinding etc. But right now a regular convection vaporiser + regular medical herb is the best I can get. And I want to add that I'm thankful for that. There are lots of people who just have "snickelfritz" herb and have to live with that ;)
 

guyonthecouch

Well-Known Member
Even as a medical patient in my country I can mostly just buy regular weed. If I could get my hands on oil/wax cartridges and could microdose I'd be doing this right away since it would safe me a lot of time cleaning, grinding etc. But right now a regular convection vaporiser + regular medical herb is the best I can get. And I want to add that I'm thankful for that. There are lots of people who just have "snickelfritz" herb and have to live with that ;)
You should consider investing in a Rosin Press. Well worth the squeeze if you don't have access to extracts.
 

cvs8floz

Well-Known Member
When people talk about the "industry" here, what are they actually referring to? I don't see a headquarter anywhere, no commissioner, no marketing promoting the virtues of vaping as part of a healthy lifestyle. I see people like Troy coughing his brains out after every hit, crazy Dr. Colly playing in the mud, and Vape Critic with a chip on his shoulder turning against this business in a fit of rage. It all looked so promising after legalization in MA in 2016, but what has actually happened? All the vape stores in the Boston area are gone, and so are the grow stores. and now the vape shipping ban to cap it off. I am not allowed to vape in public or in a hotel, I have yet been to one party with professional peers where cannabis was featured in any shape or form, you are more likely to hear them complain about smelling weed everywhere when they come to town with their wives. Vaping weed has become a very solitary, isolating activity for many people on the boards including myself, it is something done in private behind closed doors. I am not bitter at the lack of innovation, I have found my daily drivers and rarely buy new stuff anymore. I just wish I could share my passion for vaping and weeds with more people in person without feeling that it will change the way they view or respect me in a negative way.
 

Farid

Well-Known Member
When I refer to "the industry" I am solely referring to manufacturers. Companies like S&B, Dynavap, Arizer, etc. Reviewers and users I consider "the community". But that's just me. The reason you don't see any organization, lobbying, etc, is because the industry is very small.

The cannabis industry is a whole different ball game, and as someone who's also from MA, I agree it's bleak here. But that's a product of our shitty laws and the local culture. Covid and the death of the B&M store also doesn't help. But that's a totally different subject, since herb vaporizers have always been popular in niche online communities like this one, and never quite took off in the mainstream.
 
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terac.one

Member
Manufacturer
We see the future of portable devices for the use of marijuana in the form of a powerful device that will, on the one hand, constantly cool the path of steam, and on the other - heat the weed by convection.
 
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