Recent years have seen smoking devices and bong technology improve considerably. With a higher caliber of engineers meeting the increasing demand for better-quality rigs, today’s connoisseur stoners are spoiled with options.
One of the most advanced of the new smoking devices appearing on dispensary shelves is the Trident from Atlanta-based manufacturer Hitoki. Designed to address a growing demand for butane-free smoking alternatives, the company’s patented laser-based device is an elegant, design-forward alternative to the classic bong.
“I always had a fascination with lasers,” said Jack Tran, who co-founded Hitoki with his brother Joe. The entrepreneurial pair bought and sold laser pointers to other kids at school and, as they got older and started smoking weed, they wondered whether lasers might be a better combustion method than standard lighters. “We saw an opening for a smoking device that didn’t need a butane flame and was built to maximize the flavor of the flower,” Jack Tran said. “We believed using laser technology would get the best results.”
A friend who specialized in prototyping for the military created the first iteration of the ambitious device. “It was literally just a functional prototype. It looked nothing like it does today,” said Tran. “When we first showed it to people, we were like, ‘Okay, so this is a laser. You need to put these safety goggles on first.’”
After rigorously testing the technology, the brothers forged a relationship with a manufacturer who helped them bring their vision of a beautifully designed, butane-free smoking device to life. From there, they had the Trident third-party tested to ensure it’s safe to use and complies with Food and Drug Administration regulations.
Trident is a two-part device made of aircraft-grade aluminum. The top section contains the mechanism for the laser, while the bottom has a removable ceramic loading chamber allowing for quick swaps. Even after the laser has been fired, the loading chamber remains cool to the touch; users just twist and pull up to disengage the mechanical and electrical interlocks. Trident can be charged via USB-C in less than two hours and promises around 280 draws on a single charge. It’s currently available in three colors: black, rose gold, and 24-karat gold.
“What I often tell people is it’s like using the sun and a magnifying glass,” said Tran. The device’s concentrated beam of light ignites the flower in the ceramic chamber, resulting in a cleaner smoke that allows the full bouquet of the cannabinoids and terpenes to shine through.
Trans said the brothers have seen countless people lose their minds over the laser’s effect on herb. “It actually looks like a nuclear bomb with a mushroom cloud coming from it,” he said. “It’s that moment when we switch on the laser and see the smoke flow for the first time that people become truly mesmerized.”
At a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $499, the Trident is a premium device aimed at connoisseurs willing to shell out for a quality experience. The laser technology and sleek minimalist design will appeal to upscale consumers.
By working with a range of cannabis influencers, the Tran brothers are on a mission to destigmatize cannabis and smoking devices in general. They hope Trident’s masterful combination of form and function will help reshape associations between cannabis and smoking devices like pipes and bongs. “A lot of people have these big, long bongs that are kind of dirty and hidden away,” said Tran. “We wanted to create a really clean centerpiece and bring new people to the industry who might be a little scared or put off by the stigma of bongs.
“We want you to treat your Trident like a fine cognac or a Scotch,” he added. “Proudly out on display, a reflection of who you are.”