The ZVO

Where do product ideas come from? Are we all bloody geniuses sitting around in a think-tank tossing out ideas to see if they stick? Occasionally... that's how it goes. And then there's those "other" times, when we're daydreaming and a crazy idea pops into our heads, and we have some kind of inspiration to pursue it. 

Occasionally, while thinking about something completely different, a SPARK happens... I grab a piece of paper... anything will do, really, a napkin, an old business card... something handy... and as though the universe is guiding my pencil... a drawing emerges. 

All too often, these ideas fizzle out. They vanish just as elusively as they appeared. But every so often, one makes it past the dream stage, and turns into a prototype. And the prototype is finessed into an actual beta unit, and soon, it's sitting there, in the flesh... an actual, fully realized and functional product. 

The ZVO started as lines on a blueprint for something entirely different... the paper was handy.  I was looking for a replacement product for the ill-fated ZNA PRO project that had to be cancelled due to the upcoming demise of ProVape, which was where we were going to source the chipset for the ZNA PRO.  No ProVape = No Radius chipset... bummer... but you know what? Sometimes, the replacement is better than the original idea. I feel this is the case with the ZVO.  The new design is worlds ahead of what we were considering, and it affords the opportunity for some REALLY innovative thinking! 

There was really only one little hurdle... could this crazy design actually be made affordably enough to get into the market? 

Over the next few weeks, then months, we dissected this idea. The fact is, this design would be easy to make out of stabilized wood.  The stuff machines like BUTTER....  And it could be injection molded... if we wanted to make it look like it came from china, or a toy factory. We even made SEVERAL prototypes out of a really innovative (and expensive) cast-acrylic material called Stazite. But that was not going to hold up to being dropped.  See, the problem here, is that I wanted to machine the body of this thing out of a SOLID billet of 6061 Aluminum, which in reality, is crazy.  Stark-raving-mad, actually. 

Boy do I have a team! Al and Antonio went into the drawing and prototype phase, and before long, I was holding the very first ZVO Prototype that was legitimately hogged out of a solid block of Aluminum. And Al hates me. A lot. 

SO now, what do I do about the chipset? 

I searched high and low for something I could stand... and I have some pretty tough criteria. I want it to be USA made if possible. It has to be able to satisfy the needs of a smoker that is trying to quit.  That rules out the YIHI SX350 boards... we need to be able to get below 10 watts. And while we don't need a boatload of power, it would be nice if the restricted lung hit guys could get above 50 watts with it as well... but let's stubbornly keep it below 100 watts, it's going to be driven by a single 18650 battery, safety first.  I also decided the eVolve DNA 75 platform wasn't for me. 

So... what's it going to be? Well... look at the name of the thing? ZVO... yep... we're planning on using the VOchipset. More details on that as we get closer to launch before the end of the 2nd quarter of 2017.

Other innovations we're bringing? STAY TUNED... I'm going to blow your mind with some of the convenience features that we're just finishing up with designing... suffice to say,  We're going to take battery safety to a whole new level, and all without killing the performance.

I'm vaping the prototype right now... many of the parts for the production units are machined and ready to go. The team has to finalize a handful of details before we give you the big and final reveal, but I'm excited about this one.  UNFORTUNATELY, due to FDA regulations, this device was designed AFTER August 8, 2016... so it may not be available in the USA as a vaping product. As the regulations finalize, we'll cross that bridge when it comes. 

2-28-2017.... ZEN~