On August 13th, South Korea, British American Tobacco (BAT) launched an innovative new tobacco product-Glo Sens to compete with Lil from Korean tobacco brand KG&T, and IQOS from Philip Morris International.
British American Tobacco CEO Kim Eui-sung said at the press conference that his company has been investing heavily in research and development on innovative products.
"With the launch of Glo Sens, British American Tobacco will have the opportunity to demonstrate a strong commitment to lead the transformation of the tobacco industry."
According to Glo's official website, Glo Sens is a fusion and innovation of new tobacco that combines atomization technology with true tobacco.
By heating the flavored tobacco oil in the Neo atomization chamber, the aerosol will pass through the tobacco cartridge to deliver a pure tobacco aroma that is mellow and satisfying
Although British American Tobacco's product promotion still defines Glo Sens as a heat-not-burn device, its heating principle is completely different from IQOS and Lil.
You must be very curious about what the product is. Is it an electronic cigarette? Or a heat-not-burn device?
According to relevant data, the appearance of Glo Sens seems to be more like the steam-type electronic cigarettes rather than traditional heat-not-burn devices. The Glo Sens consists of three parts, the device (battery), the atomization chamber and the cartridge.
As for the working mechanism, Glo Sens is the same as Japan Tobacco (JTI)'s PloomTech+. The aerosol inhaled by the user comes from the steam generated by the heating of the e-liquid in the atomization chamber, which is very different from the way IQOS generates smoke.
And Glo Sens's atomization chamber can also be used together with its own tobacco cartridges to make the taste closer to traditional cigarettes.
Such taste fusion technology was developed by TASTE FUSION TECHNOLOGY for Glo exclusively.
As a special decomposition method, the real tobacco is stored in the granulated form in the Glo Sens cartridge above the heating coil, when the aerosol generated by e-liquid, it will pass through the Glo Sens cartridge, delivering a more realistic tobacco flavor than other e-cigarettes in the market.
Glo Sens is somehow designed under the concept of heat-not-burn, but it does not directly bake the tobacco, technically Glo Sens is a hybrid of e-cigarette and traditional tobacco.
Because Glo Sens's cartridge is a new concept, there is no technical conflict with any product on the market.
If the taste of Glo Sens is closer to traditional cigarettes than general e-cigarettes, or better than PMI's IQOS, then this product will have the potential to dominate the new tobacco market.
Alper Yuce, chief marketing officer of British American Tobacco Korea, said that due to nicotine concentration restrictions, sales volumes of e-cigarettes have been lower than industry expectations so far, but Glo Sens may be able to break such predicament.
"We believe that the rich taste, authentic tobacco taste and instant availability of this device will provide a new experience for consumers seeking alternatives to cigarettes."
It is reported that the Glo Sens package is priced at ₩ 50,000 (about $41.69) including a device, a dust cover, a storage bag, and a charging cable.
A box of Neo cartridges consists of three tobacco cartridges and a 2ml atomization capsule, which is sold at ₩4,500 (about $3.75).
In addition, an atomizer can be used for 180 puffs, while cartridge for 60 puffs.
On the whole, the biggest advantage of Glo Sens is that it comes from the integration of cartridge innovation and technology. Moreover, this product can bypass IQOS's high patent barriers.
For a long time, Philip Morris International has been suing other heat-not-burn products over patent infringement. If other tobacco companies or new tobacco companies want to develop related products, they must bypass Philip Morris who possess up to 1600 patents.
Some time ago, Jouz, a popular e-cigarette brand, had been removed from the Japanese store for infringing the main patents of IQOS.
Earlier, British American Tobacco was also sued by Philip Morris International for patent infringement over the first generation of Glo, and the BAT ended up with compensation of 100 million yen.
Thus Glo Sens launched the taste fusion technology and relevant innovation to prevent previous patent dispute with Philip Morris International.
Of course, this does not mean that Glo Sens can completely avoid the patent dispute.
Remember the "RUYAN" founded by Han Li and finally acquired by Imperial Tobacco for $75 million?
According to industry participants, there was a time when all e-cigarette companies around the world we're afraid of Han Li, because strictly speaking, they all infringed on Han Li's patent rights.
In recent years, many e-cigarette companies have begun to focus on intellectual property rights and actively apply for patents.
So even if Glo Sens can completely bypass the IQOS patents, it is still not possible to infringe the product patents of other e-cigarette brands. As a traditional tobacco giant, British American Tobacco considers very well in R&D, product quality and market. With the launch of Glo Sens in Korea and Japan, the Asian market for heat-not-burn will usher in a new era of technology competition.