Article by Ben Adlin, Leafly
Apple is a famously secretive company, so tech reporters eager to get a scoop sometimes sift through the company’s patent applications to see what the tech giant might be cooking up. This week a search turned up something unusual: diagrams for what appear to be a new vaporizer.
The document, filed in June 2016 and released Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, appears to describe a vaporizer designed to maximize efficiency, allowing more of the substance to be vaporized and less to be lost to cooling. More importantly, it suggests the Cupertino, Calif.-based company could be considering entering the vape market. At the very least, we now know they’re paying their R&D department to come up with new designs.
Tech website Digital Trends reported the story Friday, noting that it’s not the first time Apple has been linked to vaping devices. “Before vaping became fashionable,” the report says, “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.”
The Firefly, introduced in 2013, quickly became one of the top high-end vaporizers on the market. It’s now in its second product generation, and competes most often with the Pax line of high-quality vapes.
Baran Dilaver, Firefly Vapor’s chief operations officer, called the Apple patent application “exciting news.”
“It confirms our vision about innovating in the vaporization space,” he said in a statement. “However, I don’t think that this patent is intended for our segment specifically based on my reading of the application.”
Though it’s technically possible to secure a patent for a device that can potentially be used with an illegal substance, most vaporizer manufacturers base their devices on the idea that they can be used with non-cannabis-based substances. The Apple patent mentions no product specifically, referring to only “a substance that is to be vaporized.”