Thinking outside the (black) box

Thinking outside the (black) box

We use the term “black box” in conversations all the time. Almost anything might be referred to as a black box: an engine, an algorithm, a government cabal, your partner’s brain, etc. A more scientific definition of a black box is, "a device that may be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs without any knowledge of its internal workings." 

Sometimes this is great - it's more convenient when things just work and we don't need to think about how. For example, I don’t necessarily need to know the videogame code, the inner workings of the gears on my bike, or my flashlight’s firmware. I understand that companies have intellectual property they want to protect; if the output meets my needs, I'll exchange this knowledge for convenience.

However when things don’t work, black boxes are terrible. We become beholden to customer service and have to wait on the phone for hours instead of being able to pick up a screwdriver and fix something in minutes. It can make one go all Brad Pitt.

Another problem with black boxes is their potential to negatively impact our health without our knowledge, yet with our active involvement. What happens in the box may change the output in ways that are toxic, yet indiscernible. Examples are numerous, but the lead content in red lipstick, pesticides in imported honey, or Vitamin E acetate in oil-based pen vapes are particularly vexing.

Which brings us to the state of the herbal vaporizer industry! While temperature settings and LED lights give us a sense of control, these features don’t help us know what’s going on in the (literal) black box of most vaporizers. What’s the heating element made out of? How hot does the actual heating element get...and how does it break down with repeated use? What’s in the vapor pathway? How does the material in the vapor pathway react to heat? What are the taste and health impacts of all of these materials?

It’s natural for people to compare our product, the Neo, to other vaporizers on the market. While we do vaporize (verb), we bristle at the comparison with vaporizers (product category) because we intentionally developed the Neo to give our customers a fundamentally different experience.

We believe that people deserve to know all the materials in our product. We want them to enjoy not only the herb, but their peace of mind. We use only high-end ceramics, quartz, and superalloy heating elements that don’t off-gas because they are designed for the higher temperature demands of aerospace and medical applications. Our heat source doesn't touch the material, so there is never any hidden combustion that releases toxins. Most importantly, you can interact with your herb while using the Neo, so you can get a pull-by-pull idea of how your herb is evolving in the pipe or bowl. 

Because your health matters, because the flower should be respected, because taste is important - these were the driving forces behind our design of the Neo. There shouldn’t be a black box involved with anything that impacts your health.

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