Want to free up some extra space in your pocket? A new device from Vaporcade might be the solution, that is if it ever sees the light of day. The company is planning to release a 4G LTE Android phone called “the Jupiter;” a device that acts as a cell phone and a personal vaporizer too.
Vaporcase just received FCC certification for the Jupiter this week, which is required for all cellular devices before they are cleared for sale in the US, but Vaporcade has been taking pre-orders since late October. If you want to be one of the first 10,000 to snag the device, it will set you back $499: those that don’t mind waiting can secure their spot after the first 10,000 are shipped for $99. At this point, the company plans to not only offer a 4G version but a 3G capable one as well: that device requires a
$299 deposit for the first 10,000, and a $99 deposit for the later spots.
In the case of later reservations, you’ll still need to pony up the full deposit amounts at the time of shipment in order to receive your Jupiter phone.
Not The First E-Cig / Cell Phone
The Jupiter smartphone isn’t the first device to combine an e-cig with a cell phone. Jupiter has some competition on the market already, although in phone case form. Lotus launched the VapeCase last year, and updated it this year to include sub-ohm capabilities. We have not heard any sales numbers on the device, but reviews have generally been positive, although not stellar.
Despite the mild reception to similar products, Vaporcade still thinks it may have a market. The company was founded by John Cameron, younger brother of Titanic director James Cameron. Behind Vaporcade is an impressive list of players and backers. Its website says the company is working with e-cigarette patent holder Herbert Gilbert, and lists Seamus Blackley as one of his co-founders. Hardcore gamers might recognize Blackley’s name: he was the co-creator of the Xbox.
The company’s resume is impressive: it’s part of a larger company called H2O, short for Human Health Organization. Among its projects is the Vapebot, a device aimed at testing e-cig performance and evaluating juice ingredients, and NeUll’s, a e-cigarette aimed at controlling nicotine use in prisons.
The Tech Press Doesn’t Believe It
These unique products and impressive backing has some suspicious. Popular tech blog The Verge took the company to task by calling it “the ultimate vaporware,” a not so subtle play on words:
Everything about this product and the two companies behind it feels like an elaborate prank, a viral stunt designed to trip up journalists and perhaps sell some shady merchandise in the process.
Vaporcade has gone as far as proving its legitimacy by having Cameron appear in a Facebook video showing him using the phone and then vaping from it. The conversation goes something like this:
Off camera: “Hey John, The Verge is wondering if you really have a phone you can smoke.”
Cameron: (placing drip tip on phone) “Yeah, yeah.” (Takes a vape)
To the tech press’ defense, Vaporcade is certainly leaving themselves open for criticism with how little we actually know about the device’s specifications. The only things we do know about the Jupiter cell phone / vaporizer is that the tank can hold 7.5ml of “fluids, medicines, or nutraceuticals” as the company puts it, and the device will run on Android Kit Kat; but that’s it.
This Is Not Cameron’s First Try
Cameron was involved in at least one vaping / e-cig venture before, and it failed in spectacular and scandalous fashion. His first attempt with a company called SafeCig got off the ground in 2007, but failed six years later under suspicions that Cameron was bilking the company of money. SafeCig founder Robert Deak accused Cameron in a Tumblr post of using funds to lease Cadillacs, saddling the company with mortgages for his homes, and overpaying personal advisers.
Then in 2013, Cameron partnered with Gilbert to start a company known as Emperor Brands, which seems to be the precursor to Vaporcade. Whether this venture actually catches steam is yet to been determined, but we’ll keep you posted. A cell phone that acts like an e-cig seems great, but I’m doubtful that they can cram enough capacity inside to satisfy enthusiasts like me.