The Evoke is the latest electronic vaporizer to grace the industry with its presence, and I sincerely mean that. From the looks of things, the Evoke (from LotoLabs) is one of the first vaporizers I’ve seen that looks to the past for design inspiration, with a wooden, hefty look to it not unlike the tobacco pipes of the olden days.
The company touts that its induction-based vaporizer is healthier than its competitors in the market, and that it will last longer and require less replacements than anything else you can find. Curious, we decided to chat with founder Neeraj Bhardwaj for a Q&A.
TechCrunch: How is the Evoke different from other vaporizers?
Neeraj Bhardwaj: I’d say there are three main ways the Evoke is different. The first way is induction. The Evoke is healthier for you. When you use the traditional “wick and coil” system, dangerous particles like formaldehyde get into your lungs.
The second difference is that our vape is designed to be beautiful and luxurious. It’s not a round, discrete pen. I, personally, don’t want to smoke out of a pen. So we built the Evoke to stand out as a luxurious vaporizing pipe, not something you have to hide.
The third way it’s unique is that it uses smart technology. It’s not about voltage anymore. It’s not about turning a dial and heating up and cooling down. It switches now to frequency and power, because the Evoke controls just how hot the system gets. It requires a smart chip, and because of that, we can control so many parts of the experience.
We want you to be able to control the heating pattern. If you’re using a special kind of shatter and need a different voltage, the Evoke can offer that. It’s almost like a hack on your own vaporizer. People that vape a lot are hobbyists in the space, and they want these kinds of controls, like the ability to change out the wick.
Eventually, we want to integrate with iOS and Android health platforms so you can monitor your THC or tobacco usage alongside your sleep, heart rate, etc. If Apple won’t accept us, we’ll build out a standalone app for usage monitoring, but hopefully we can mix it in with all your other sensors.
TC: Explain the induction heating vs. traditional wick and coil heating.
NB: Both systems start the same way. There’s a reservoir, and a wick placed in it to pull the liquid out.
With current technology, typically the wicks are made out of some fiberglass material. A resistive coil is wrapped around and in contact with the wick where a current is applied and heat is generated. This means the coil is hotter than the ideal vaping temperature, and electrical components are in contact with the liquid.
With our system, our coil is outside the airpath. It stays cool but creates magnetic fields that heat up our wick. Our wick is made of a proprietary alloy and heats evenly, putting the heat exactly where it is wanted and only where it is wanted. This makes for a cleaner tasting, altogether better vaping experience.
As far as dry herb is concerned, the induction-heated mesh heats evenly and again, is not as hot as a coil. It doesn’t stress a tiny coil over and over again, breaking it eventually.
TC: In such a crowded space, what feature or characteristic makes the winning difference for a vaporizer?
NB: One that can be tailored to the use of the owner. One that doesn’t break all the time or burn or constantly require replacing. One that isn’t so difficult to clean. Honestly, a vaporizer that just works well and lasts long should do very well on the market because right now it doesn’t really exist.
TC: Why did you choose to deviate so much from the usual design of most vaporizers?
NB: We really wanted to look to the past for this. Most people are focusing on carbon fiber wraps and other more futuristic materials. We wanted something more luxurious. Something that’s a statement in your house and in your hands. We want you to be excited to tell people about your vaporizer.
We chose something wooden and ergonomic, and something that doesn’t roll off of a table.
TC: Who is your ideal customer?
NB: We have two ideal customers. One is anyone seeking relief from pain with medicinal marijuana, especially because waxes and liquids are really where we shine. Most vaporizers work the same for dry herb, but for oils and waxes, we can really provide a healthier and more luxurious experience around that.
Our other ideal customer is someone who has been vaping for a long time and is sick and tired of replacing parts. Our customers are going to be the connoisseurs of the space.
Right now, we have three separate models on the campaign for e-liquids, waxes, and dry herb. But we’re working right now to create bullets or capsules that can be swapped out with the existing Evoke model. Users can then refill those capsules and swap them out depending on what substance they’re vaping.
TC: Why did you choose to get into this space?
NB: My mom was diagnosed with cancer and started vaping marijuana to handle the pain. I got into the process and realized that most of the vaporizers out there were always breaking and burning and I just wanted something better for myself, so I decided to build it.
TC: If there was no Evoke, what vaporizer would you use?
NB: The vapes I use today are the cheapest ones I can find, as I got tired of my expensive ones breaking:
eLiquid – Nemesis Clone (battery) with an Aero Tank (atomizer).
Oils/Wax – Nemesis Clone (battery) with the e-skillet or v-hit attachment.
Dry herb – Davinci Ascent
Check out the Evoke right here.