1. Can you let us know a bit more about yourself, where are you from? How long have you been living in Hong Kong?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I love the vibe out here; it’s fast-paced, diverse and a perfect cultural blend of east meets west. Also, the economic freedom and close proximity to manufacturers across the border makes it a hotbed for hardware startups and tech entrepreneurs like myself.
2. How did you get into the vaping industry? What inspired you at the beginning?
What inspired me to get into the vaping industry in 2012 was seeing how much potential the e-cigarette had to get people off smoking. The technology at the time was innovative but still quite primitive yet already I was seeing smokers successfully quit or reduce. This motivated me to start my own vape company called Mist e-Cigarettes.
3. Who are your target customers?
Perl™’s ideal customer is any adult smoker looking for a simple and elegant device to help their tobacco dependence; also the beginner to intermediate vapors that have no choice but to use poorly designed, industrial looking products.
4. How do you want your customers to feel when they use PERL™ products?
Every curve, material and subtle feature that you see on the Perl™ today was a result of a lot of deep thought and careful consideration. So when a customer uses the Perl™ we hope they get an intuitive sense of the kind people behind the product and their single-minded pursuit of achieving beauty and the best user experience possible.
5. PERL™ looks very different from other vaping devices, what inspired the design?
It all started with personal annoyance. Since a vaping device spends most of its life in your hand and mouth when in use, why are existing devices so uncomfortable and boxy? Hence why we decided the Perl™ should have a natural ergonomic feel in the palm of your hands and on your lips, which is how we ended up with such a unique organic form.
6. What materials are PERL™ made from?
We wanted the Perl™ to be ultra lightweight yet rugged, something you could easily carry in your pocket all day and not have to worry about it dropping it. After experimenting with a lot of different materials including plastic, aluminium and steel we decided on forging the main body out of a robust polycarbonate and treated it with UV stabilization to further strengthen and protect from scratches. Also, the mouthpiece is made from soft medical grade silicone to ensure lip comfort when vaping.
5. What are the technologies used in PERL™ device?
In order to achieve that sleek and minimalist look, we had to eliminate all buttons. Instead, the Perl™ has capacitive sensor technology that allows the user to intuitively select vapor modes and check battery life by simply tapping an icon. Also, we added an airway sensor, which means you simply inhale to activate.
In terms of performance we decided to use a ceramic coil for the Perl™ as it produces richer vapor & flavor, also a lifespan almost three times that of an ordinary coil.
6. What makes it different to other devices?
Of course the most obvious difference is the overall design. But design is much more than meets the eye: it’s about priorities.
The biggest brands on the market today are owned by Chinese factories which prioritize maximum performance, efficiency, low cost etc, without much regard for the user. This is why you end up with big and silly looking industrial designs that are overpowered, technical and quite intimidating to most people.
Our priority has always been the user experience and aesthetics, because we wanted the average person to accept vaping and seamlessly incorporate the Perl™ as an accessory into their lifestyle.
7. What do you think next five years look like in the vaping industry?
There are two extremes currently in the vaping industry; on one end you have mass-market closed system products such as cigalikes – easy to use but underpowered. On the other end, you have the open systems – high performance but too technical and clunky for the average person. I believe the next generation of products will be a healthy middle ground of both. We are starting to see early signs of this hybrid philosophy in the form of the Perl™ and other pod system devices.
Pod systems have the potential to appeal to the masses and government regulators alike which is why I believe this is the future of the mainstream vaping for now.