Juul Labs is planning to market vaping products that are Bluetooth compatible. While the innovation is intended to prevent minors from using Juul devices, it is primarily a way to appease the company’s critics.
Juul spokesperson Victorias Davis emphasised her desire to limit e-cigarette access to young people. Indeed, the decision to include a Bluetooth smart lock system was motivated by the legal issues Juul is currently facing. An investigation led by Maura Healey, a Massachusetts prosecutor, is currently underway. Juul Labs has been accused of supplying nicotine to young people under 21 years old.
Last April, according to Bloomberg, the young company had been considering developing a technology to limit the use of its products. An additional option would have allowed users to change the dosage level and intensity of flavours.
Innovations to limit access to e-cigarettes
Juul Labs recently filed a patent application. The invention is related to the creation of a device that can block access to the e-cigarette. The company has devised multiple strategies, wherein users would be required to use a code or a biometric identifier to unlock the device. Juul Labs is also considering incorporating a geolocation system for all of its e-cigarettes, with the goal of limiting device access in sensitive locations, such as schools. However, this information comes from an anonymous source and has not been confirmed by company executives.
Nonetheless, the young start-up from San Francisco will have to wait for FDA approval before moving forward. The American health organisation will have to validate (or not) any modifications applied to the company’s devices if it wants to market its products on American soil.
In the meantime, the company is planning to sell the Bluetooth Juul internationally by early next year. Victoria Davis is aware, however, that patenting an invention does not necessarily lead to commercial sales. In a letter to The Verge, an American news website, Davis said that the technological innovations her company is currently developing could help restrict e-cigarette access to young people.