Gimmicks in Vaping- Long term success?

Over the past 10 years the vaping industry has changed to an extent that each year, there is a new wave of gimmick or novelty that either sinks or swims when it comes to the customers. In a market where buying a vape mod is simply used to fire your tank, vapers want much more when it comes to what the mod can actually do. Sometimes they don’t stick and never see the light of day again where others remain part of the furniture of what makes a mod today. So here at Drip Hacks, we want to take a look through some of the gimmicks and ask is gimmicks a big part of the vaping industry?

Touch Screen

This was the first big new craze that hit the market starting with Chinese manufacturers back in 2017. Perhaps you have heard of the Hells Gate mod, or the lack of design associated with it? Either way it was the infancy of the idea that was never really thought out. As time has passed, more and more companies have adopted this approach with stand alone designs that often form their own mini franchise or try to stand out from the rest. Take for example the Vaporesso Luxe that released last year. In a market dominated by the simple box mods again, the Luxe (and subsequently the Naboo by Smoant) brought back the idea of touchscreen again to make it stand out from the rest. We are now seeing Smok pushing this as a main design feature now with both the new mag and the G Priv 3 being two big releases both adopting this design. There was a time that every company had a touch screen mod out but now it seems to have filtered out into only a selected few.

The main benefit of a touch screen device when designed right is the lack of buttons required, a fairly obvious fact to bring up. It emulates a tablet/smart phone that forms part of our modern technological culture so a touchscreen device falls into uniform in that respect. So have vapers truly adopted the touch screen mod to make it a necessary feature, I’m not sure. When you see big releases such as the Mag P3, the Luxe or the like, on the surface there is demand there. However the market even now is still dominated by the drag/gen 2/aegis button design over a simpler touch screen control so that is where the demand truly lies. The lack of demand at the top end of the market within DNA style mods as well seems to suggest that touchscreen remains aesthetic over practical.

Lights

A simple idea that has came and gone over the years, a mod offering light up designs with the device has always seemed popular right? There has always been a market over the years for light up devices, whether it be a set of eyes, part of a mod design or even in a way to give the impression of your vapour being a different colour. The market was truly big for this style of mod back in 2017 with Smok leading the way with their different designs from the pro colour to the S-Priv. They even re-released their very popular baby beast tank with LED lighting inside which offered a very different take on the sub ohm tank at the time. We see companies like V Zone still keep to the LED light aspect in their disposable tanks and Sigelei last year released a mod with light up snake eyes as well so the want to make is still very much there but have vapers been turned off by this design?

To some extent, I think the light up device is still a rather popular idea that has fallen victim not to lack of interest but more so in the trend of popular products. The main appeal with this sort of gimmick is aimed at the casual vaper over the more experienced one, a demographic often overlooked when you take a look at the industry. So in that respect, there would still be a lot of demand for this sort of product through standard stores rather than online but the idea has suffered due to the popularity overall of the simple box mod. Once the Drag released and many companies followed suit, the lack of gimmick lighting seemed to fall by the way side as companies pushed their simple designs hoping to stand out in a saturated market and since then there haven’t been anyone else to look to change that. So I do believe that an LED lighting device would still prove to be very popular in the right circles, we may have to wait until the box mod dominance subsides before we see another resurgence of this make a return.

Voice Control

Ahh the one that had the biggest shine for it to burn out rather quickly. Voice control mods were massive in 2018 for about 2 months before they seemed to vanish from the market. Back ahead of the release of Infinity war, Ijoy released a mod called the avenger that offered full voice control via a series of pre built commands that would allow you to control the device all to the extent without buttons until you actually wanted to fire the device. Smok not too long afterwards released their version that provided a voice to the mod itself as feedback to again popularise the voice control aspect of the device. Voice control took the standard mod design and ran to the hills with it, especially the I-Priv offering a torch light as well to bring the ultimate gimmick to market. So given the massive jump in technology in these devices, what exactly went wrong?

Truth be told this is an example of an idea being roundly rejected by the vaping community as a whole as a gimmick as it lasted all of 2 months, Problems seem to arise from poor voice functionality, difficulty with accents, commands not always being responsive, plus the process being longer than simply using buttons to begin with. The idea was sound in the sense it offered something usually not seen with devices and the idea could help many people who struggle with using devices due to medical conditions. However the lack of voice control after these releases tells you everything you need to know, nobody wanted to talk to their mod. Will we ever see voice control come back? I very much doubt it.

Hands Free Control

Another idea that came out in 2017 was the method of hands free control of a device. This used Infra-red style control where your hand could navigate a device without having to press any buttons and this idea did stick to some big names in the market. Asmodus for example released the Lustro that offered this, with others on the market also following suit. Aiming to be something out of a Sci Fi movie rather than a vape store, the hands free approach was backed rather quickly within the industry and we did see a fair few mods release with this design. So with all that being said, what happened?

This was another idea that seemed to go nowhere beyond the initial approach due to the lack of interest combined with functionality issues. I can understand the theory behind this design but truth is, vapers want to hold the device to control it rather than sit it a couple of metres away, completely looking past what the mod actually is. Another time consuming exercise that could be fixed with simply picking the device up, hands free design has never really made an impact on the market like it was intended to. Again much like voice control, the theory behind it is sound, but nobody really wanted that feature to begin with. Will this method make a comeback in the future? Much like voice, I very much doubt it.

Indestructible Devices

What started as a game changer for Geekvape back in 2017, the indestructible mod is something that despite its drawbacks, can offer something really practical. The idea being that you can drop your mod, knock it, fall into the bath etc and still be able to use it no problem on paper is a very good idea. There are so many practical ways this could we adopted into mod design for many different avenues of vapers and this is where the motivation with the original Aegis may have came from. For a long time we didn’t see anything else on the market but over the past 6 months or so we are now starting to see more and more companies look to bring this approach to market. Companies such as Vandy Vape and Smok to name just a couple have released their own versions of this design as well as Geekvape continuing their Aegis line, with plenty more to come in the future I am sure. The idea makes a very good YouTube video as well testing the stress on the devices as a form of entertainment. So, with all this being said, has it proven to be a good idea?

In a word, Yes. The most practical gimmick in this article is the one that I think has plenty of interest from vapers especially in scenarios that prove to be advantageous in owning one. The popularity of the Aegis range has overshadowed Geekvape’s other releases to a large extent and the sight of the likes of Smok adapting their popular Mag range into this design show there is demand. The idea isn’t completely sound, with the added protections making the device more bulky and heavy compared to others on the market. However this added drawback doesn’t seem to have put vapers off and the idea grows and grows each year now, with Geekvape finally having a rival in this avenue. Once companies can make the devices lighter and more portable (Geekvape’s limited edition legends successfully did this) then the feature could move from gimmick into a required request from vapers in the market.

So are Gimmicks a good idea?

Taking a look at some of the bigger gimmicks over the years, most of them all seem to share the lack of interest in the idea rather than the lack of interest from the companies, after all they brought these ideas to market. The motivations for most of the gimmicks look to offer something more from your vape mod and in this respect it should be admired. After all, when you see a new release you want to know why you should buy it over your current mod and added features does aim to do just that. I do think to some extent however, despite trying to push what a mod can do, companies ignore what the mod actually is to try and revolutionise an idea that doesn’t need to be changed. Some of the biggest devices over the past 12 months alone bring gimmicks to a minimum, focusing on better performance above all else. We have seen other ideas such as a Bluetooth speaker, Wireless charging, even I read about linking up to an Alexa pretty soon. The ideas keep coming to market and I am happy to see that innovation isn’t dead just yet. I do believe though the gimmick does need to stay within the confines of what the mod actually does, otherwise as shown, there just isn’t a demand for it with vapers.

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