The definition of genius, according to Albert Einstein, is taking the complex and making it simple. That’s an apt description of the Genius Pipe, a deceivingly simple smoking device that uses the complex concept of fluid dynamics to give the user cool, clean hits.
Invention starts by solving a problem. For Genius Pipe inventor Dyan Ferman that meant coming up with a simpler, hassle-free way to cool smoke without losing taste. Your typical bong or bubbler does a good job of filtering smoke, but at the cost of messing with water and losing flavor as smoke passes through it. But Ferman wasn’t initially working on a pipe; his original invention was a cooling system for keeping super processors on gaming computers from overheating. The common method circulates water in a loop between the heat sources and a cooling radiator, much like with the engine of a car. Ferman’s patented solution utilized a form of fluid dynamics where air is passed over and around tiny protrusions, or “dimples” that dissipate the heat away from the source —the tech is so effective that it’s used in super-sonic jets and nuclear power plants.
Being a smoker, himself, Ferman figured the concept couple be applied to an “air-cooled” pocket-sized pipe. To test his theory, he took the cooling block from a computer, rigged a bowl to one end and a mouthpiece to the other, and took a drag.
“It worked amazingly,” he says, “we were stunned by the effect.”
No liquid and no electronics translated to a deceivingly simple device. The Genius Pipe is made from three rectangular-shaped pieces of anodized aluminum held together with strong magnets. It measures 6 inches in length and weighs 5 ounces making it truly pocket-sized and portable. The two main sections contain the dimples — 2,000 of them to be exact. The face plate features a cut-out, which when the plate is slid into position, reveals the bowl, and when closed keeps your loose leaf from blowing out. There’s even a built-in screen. When everything is snapped together, an air-flow route is created between the bowl and the mouthpiece (nothing more than a small slit at one end). The dimples not only cool the smoke, but also catch tar, oil, and sap — when the smoke finally reaches your mouth and lungs, you’ll find that it is remarkably cool, smooth and cough-free.
The Genius Pipe was launched at CHAMPS Trade Show in 2015 after being in development for six years. The company had a small table on the edge of the show floor without any of the fanfare associated with the established brands in attendance. It didn’t take long before you heard people saying to one another, “Did you see that metal pipe thing? It’s amazing,” and crowds started to congregate around the Genius booth to get a glimpse of the revolutionary device.
“The reaction was something I did not even expect,” Ferman says. “The reaction was that the pipe was something unlike anything else and people were amazed that it worked exactly as we promised. I came away from the show confident the product was going to be a hit.”
The Genius Pipe is the perfect example of the adage, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” The device functions so flawlessly that the flagship design, now dubbed the Genius OG (Original Genius), is still one of the most popular. There’s also now a Genius Mini, which is exactly what it says, a smaller version of the original. The only minor changes begin with the 3.0 series, which are manufactured with an intricate casting process and come in two types of electroplated finish: Chrome and Gunmetal. The 4.0 series, made from medical-grade aluminum, are yet another upgrade.
Where the first incarnation of the Genius Pipe was available in only a handful of finishes, the form of the device provides a blank canvas for unlimited colors and graphics. Many of the custom designs are inspired by musicians, celebrities and artists like live painter Sean Dietrich, who created three limited edition designs.
Genius also collaborates with like-minded brands within the smoking industry. They recently teamed with V-Syndicate on a sliding lid with built in grinder, and with Vatra on a custom-designed protective carrying case. Another exclusive partnership is an elegant wooden RYOT humidor box featuring chambers for the GeniusPipe, grinder, and accessories or smoking materials.
Ferman positions the Genius Pipe, which depending on the edition, retails in the neighborhood of $75 to $120, as a premium product. Not outrageous at all, especially considering that being precision engineered from high-quality aluminum, and having minimal parts, the Genius Pipe is virtually indestructible. As such, it is warranted to the original owner against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.
“We’re in a category by ourselves,” Ferman says, ‘because there’s nothing else like it; it’s not a vaporizer, bong or pipe like any other.”
Genius Pipe has received glowing reviews from the biggest names in the smoking industry. High Times called it “revolutionary.” Mass Roots said, “It’s an absolute must if you want to smoke discreetly.” And Herb, the self-proclaimed “voice of cannabis culture,” described its as when “science meets art.”
As the buzz about Genius Pipe has gotten around, a community of fans has surrounded this innovative little device. In the same way, the Apple brand puts emphasis on customer experience by enhancing that sense of community among Apple users, Genius smartly plays on the loyalty that customers tend to develop when they have successfully tried and tested a product. They reward their followers with Karma points that can be traded for exclusive accessories and discounts on purchases.
The Genius community extends to retailers as well. Available are marketing and display materials to help tell the brand story to customers. Select retailers also receive access to customized social media content that they can use to engage customers and draw them into the stores where Genius will often provide products for in-store giveaways. Shops can custom brand the pipe with their own logo; it can also be engraved to make a unique award or personalized gift.
“What I enjoy most about being involved with the cannabis industry right now is that everything is so new and people are all about sharing their passions,” Ferman says.
“Genius Pipe is in existence because of an idea; you could say that we’re building a brand, but more importantly, we’re building a phenomenon and concept of a product that’s constantly evolving around the consumer,” Ferman adds. “There’s no name on the pipe, only a logo; it belongs to the end-user and we want it to become something that the they couldn’t imagine living their life without.”