UK Startup Is Innovating The Look And Feel Of Cig-A-Like Vaporizers

The team hopes to increase adoption rates of e-cigarettes by emphasizing ritualistic portions of vaping that have been disregarded

Kaveh Memari spent over ten years following the e-cigarette market but was never quite satisfied with the products being put out by manufacturers. Having been an industrial designer for perfume companies packaging, Kaveh was very familiar with both the technical and aesthetic aspects of taking a product to market. In late 2013 he sat down with Ian Murison to discuss everything he had found. The two men shared their critiques of the vaping industry as it stood. While they agreed that vaping adequately simulates smoking while still being much safer, they believed complicated and bulky devices were deterring lots of potential users. Recognizing an unaccounted for niche, the pair saw a massive opportunity for boosting growth. Vaping plus medical nicotine replacement therapies combined to account for less than 3% of the over 600 billion dollar tobacco industry. They said that during their research they discovered a large percentage of smokers were still out there hoping for something better to come along than the often bulky and complicated vaporizers of today. In that, they saw their opportunity to make a huge splash, creating a more streamlined e-cigarette.

Focused On Ritual

Ian Murison was the person who brought the idea of ritual into their discussions. He recognized that smokers not only were looking for the nicotine found in cigarettes but also the psychological comfort of individual cues. Many of these have been neglected entirely by the vaping industry, so the pair decided this was their best chance to make a niche. They set out to design a new type of cig-a-like that took into account all of the factors usually forgotten. First and foremost in their minds was making vaping a “finite experience.” Their research found that since traditional vaping lacked the clear signal of a finished cigarette, vapers sometimes continue to inhale for entirely too long. One man surveyed said that he had been known to carry on vaping when distracted by a good concert, leading him to take in as much nicotine as several packs of cigarettes sometimes.

After taking this and several other problems into account, the pair is now almost set to launch their creation, called AYR. The system is composed of three primary pieces, the vape, a case, and flavor capsule. The whole thing is designed to mimic a traditional cigarette; this meant refraining from adding OLED screens and extra unneeded features. Everything fits inside of the lightweight case and when inside the vaporizer is automatically refilled in a matter of seconds. It also charges while inside of its case, making sure it’s always ready when you want it. The connected app lets you see your remaining charge and liquid in the capsule. You can even record your usage data if you want too. They implemented a genius solution to the “finite experience” problem. Lights all along the cig-a-like turn off one by one until they’re all out. This gives a clear cue missing from current systems, forcing you to refill the vaporizer in the case before using it again. They report that one capsule of flavors (Which are set to come in several types) should last around 100 sessions. The best part is all of the refillings can be done on the fly no matter where you are.

Encouraging More Smokers To Quit

The duo hopes their innovations will spur more smokers into giving e-cigarettes a try. Having both had fathers that were heavy smokers, they know the kind of toll it can take on families. With this in mind and to make easing off nicotine more comfortable, all of their flavors will come in four different strengths from Nude (no nicotine) to Bold (18mg of nicotine). This way vapers can slowly lower their intake if they decide that’s what they would like to do. They have even entered a partnership with the Royal College of Physicians to share smoking data. Eventually, they want their new intuitive technology used for more than just vaping, such as being used by hospitals to treat respiratory problems. It’s very encouraging to see an innovative new company like this looking to improve the parts of vaping technology never even considered before. If we want the most substantial number of people to quit smoking, it’s crucial for vaping to provide not only the nicotine and visual cue of tobacco, but also the mental signals associated with a pack of finite cigarettes.

Do you think these sorts of changes will lead to more smokers trying vaping? Would you prefer a device that looked and felt more like a traditional cigarette? Do you think this pushes vaping in the right or wrong direction? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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