Apple may be dabbling in cars, wearables, and other technologies outside its core smartphone and computers business, but here is an area few people would expect the Cupertino, California company to enter. A recently published patent application suggests the company may be eyeing the booming vaping industry with its own high-tech vaporizer unit.
Filed in June 2016 and released on January 26, 2017 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the patent application describes a vaporizer that uses high temperature to convert a substance into a vapor. The patent focuses on the method of vaporization being developed with an emphasis on ways of maximizing the vaporization rate so more of the substance will be converted to vapor and less will be lost to cooling.
Apple fails to reference the materials being used for in this process vaporization and never mentions the intended end use of the product. We can only speculate that the growing popularity of vaping and the increasing legalization of marijuana in the US and abroad may be contributing to Apple’s exploration of this area.
This isn’t the first time Apple has been linked to vaporization and vaping devices. Before vaping became fashionable, Apple developer Mark Williams left his position at the high-profile company where he worked on MacOS and joined former Juniper developer Sasha Robinson to create the Firefly, a top-of-the-line vaporizer.
Often called the “Apple” or “Tesla” of vaping, the Firefly is a high-end device that uses convection to heat the air in the vaporizer chamber to 400 degrees, which produces a smoother and better-tasting vapor. Unlike other vaporizers that target entry-level vapers, the Firefly is for the luxury market with a starting price tag of $329.
Vaping may become even more popular in the coming years as the changing political climate may eventually loosen the current FDA regulations. The big tobacco industry also may enter the ecigarette marketplace as a way to combat the ongoing decline in smoking. It will be interesting to watch vaping over the coming year and will be even more riveting if Apple decides to pursue its exploration in this area.