Evolv History

In the fall of 2008 Brandon Ward, a 39-year-old 2-pack a day smoker, bought an e-cigarette at the prompting of a concerned friend.  Brandon was desperate to quit, had tried NRT’s and cessation drugs to no success.  After buying and using an e-cigarette he quit smoking altogether.  He saw the potential of the technology as a less risky alternative to combustible cigarettes and believed it could be so much better.

Having little knowledge of electronics, Brandon sought the assistance of John Bellinger, a local Engineer who owned a business specializing in the design and manufacture of control electronics.  John refused to meet with inventors, especially broke inventors like Brandon but relented after Brandon would not go away. 

John already had some knowledge of the e-cig industry as he had sold power converters to arm-chair enthusiasts who repurposed them for use in their homemade e-cigarettes.  In their first meeting, Brandon asked John to make a better version of his existing e-cigarette.  John said “Why?” somewhat rhetorically, what he recognized was the current e-cig control systems were not addressing what the user actually wished to control.  E-cigarettes circa 2010 offered little in the way of control and what control they did offer addressed the wrong parameters.  The long and short of the meeting?  Brandon and John formed Evolv and they went to work on solving the e-cigarette by reinventing the e-cigarette.

Ground- Breaking Achievements

The first technological innovation Evolv introduced to the market came out of that initial meeting, regulated power control (wattage).  E-cigarettes to that point had offered only voltage control as a means of adjusting the intesity and amount of vapor.  This meant constant adjustment of voltage as the atomizer aged or when a new atomizer was attached.  Power regulation ensured a consistent experience regardless of changes in the atomizer.  To introduce this new technology to the market, Evolv, in December of 2010, released the Darwin E-cigarette.  The Darwin was notable not just as the first wattage-controlled e-cigarette but it was the first to have an LCD screen and onboard regulated charging.  By 2012, most of the e-cigarette market had adopted Evolv’s regulated power technology.

In 2012 Evolv introduced the Kick drop-in module and subsequently in 2013 the Kick2 drop-in module.  The Kick and Kick2 were notable because they brought battery safety to an entire category of already existing e-cigarettes, the mechanical mod.  Mechanical mods were (and still are) metal tubes which accept user replaceable LiPo batteries and offer the user no protective features.  The Kick and Kick2 allowed the user to set a fixed output power that would not over-tax the battery and mitigated battery shorting and over-discharging both of which are causes of catastrophic battery failure.

By 2013, Evolv was widely recognized as the e-cig tech leader and was receiving inquiries from other manufacturers requesting use of Evolv technologies in their e-cigarette products.  Since Evolv’s ability to make circuit boards far exceeded their ability to assemble consumer products they released a line of circuit boards called DNA.  The DNA line of circuit boards allowed e-cig manufacturers from all over the world to produce Evolv technology powered e-cigarette products, containing DNA boards, under their own brand.  The Evolv DNA line of boards brought a level of safety, consistency and reliability to these e-cig manufacturer’s product lines that were not present previously.

Temperature Control & EScribe

In 2014, Evolv released technology in the DNA 40 circuit board line (and all subsequent DNA boards) that accurately measured and limited the temperature of the heating element in e-cigs.   This was the next logical step in “solving the e-cigarette” as over-heating the e-liquid had been shown to be the primary contributing factor to carbonyl production in the aerosol emissions of e-cigs. 

In 2015, Evolv released the DNA 200 circuit board which was notable for its companion software called EScribe that allowed the users and, more importantly, researchers to view and change device parameters and observe, log and record user behavior.  The DNA 200 also introduced multi-cell battery balanced charging, which made charging the e-cigarette much safer.  But the real leap forward was Escribe, it afforded researchers the ability to observe study participant’s real-world e-cigarette use patterns outside of a clinical setting.  Evolv also allowed consumers the ability to opt into Evolv’s data collection program.  All subsequent Evolv boards, 2015 to present, have been equipped with data logging and recording capability and to date about 20% of users have opted into Evolv’s data collection.  Evolv presently has over 4 billion real-world user puffs recorded.


During the period between 2014 and August of 2016, Evolv continued to release small quantities of consumer e-cigarettes to prove out their new technologies.  Amongst those releases was the Stealth, now known as the Reflex e-cigarette.

The DNA Reflex, introduced a new technology to help adult smoker’s transition to e-cigarettes.  Every e-cigarette previously and currently work exactly opposite of a combustible cigarette in one very important way.  The harder you draw on a cigarette the hotter and more intense the “hit” becomes and the lighter you draw on a cigarette the less hot and intense the “hit” becomes.  Conversely, the harder you draw on an e-cigarette, the cooler the “hit” becomes and the lighter you draw the hotter and intense the “hit” becomes.  Evolv believes these opposing control terms between e-cigarettes and cigarettes contribute to the low adoption rates of e-cigarettes by adult cigarette smokers.   The reflex solves this problem by making the e-cigarette control system match that of an actual cigarette.  Evolv modelled the draw reactive behavior of the Reflex to exactly match that of a combustible cigarette.  When a puff gets too intense the user simply slows their draw just as they would on a cigarette and the draw becomes instantly less hot and intense.

Over the last decade, Evolv has been responsible for creating scores of technologies seen in many of the e-cigarettes on the market today. Direct wattage control, temperature control and balanced charging just to name a few.  Evolv’s technological advances have contributed to making an already less risky category of tobacco products even less risky.