TechCrunch reports e-cigarette market leader, Juul, officially announced new technologies their devices will feature in the US Market in 2019, pending FDA approval.
Vapor Vanity has written on the future of Juul tech before, but this year’s Disrupt saw Chief Product Officer James Monsees offer more concrete details about what the US market can expect from the vape giant next year.
Your Vape, Connected
Monsees offered more detail on Juul’s Bluetooth connectivity and what the feature can do for users. Once users connect the e-cig to their mobile devices, a set of usage and tracking metrics can help Juul owners understand and modify their habits. Monsees explains that the feature can help users even quit the product altogether, furthering what e-cigarette companies have to defend is the true purpose of their products.
“If a consumer wants to quit our product…We will give them the toolset (sic) to do that in the smoothest possible way,” Monsees said. If a user wants to taper their vaping habits, Monsees claims the software and a “machine algorithm” designed by Juul Labs will “smooth that out for you.”
Bluetooth connectivity also offers a “youth prevention” feature, via pairing the Juul to owners’ phones. If a user’s phone is too far from the Juul, it shuts off and is unusable until the phone is back in proximity. “So, if I drop my Juul in this chair and I walk away,” Monsees said, whoever finds it is “not going to be able to use the product.”
Once the phone is back in range, the owner can pick up and resume using their Juul device. It will reconnect automatically. Monsees focused on the convenience and ease of use of their new features, but made sure to describe how these features will also address unintended use by minors.
A Consumer Product No More
FDA statements on vape regulation has Juul Labs thinking outside of the box about their e-cigarette. The FDA has stepped in to regulate the consumer product since its rapid growth in a global market over just a few short years. The agency’s position is that e-cigarettes are potentially as harmful and addictive as combustible tobacco cigarettes, since e-cigarettes by default include nicotine. The addictive nature of nicotine combined with rampant teen use has put the vape industry on the defensive.
Juul and other manufacturers push back against the criticism by repeatedly explaining the purpose of their products (which feels like it shouldn’t be necessary, to be honest), and even by pulling products from shelves that may be seen as too ‘kid-friendly.’
As the market leader, Juul has taken a few extra steps to respond to and insulate themselves from industry backlash. The company released a statement this year to announce a $30 million youth awareness and education program about the potential dangers of nicotine. Monsees reiterated their intent in his Disrupt interview. “This is a problem that there’s never been a solution to,” Monsees said, excited for Juul to change “the nature of this universe.”
Read our review of the Juul pod vape here.