The Cig's Case

Pink Lion


Project Description

The Cig’s Case is a smart cigarette case with an innovative method of smoking cessation to help people gradually quit smoking.

Many people experience resolving to give up cigarettes for their health or for their families. However, it is very difficult to quit smoking by themselves because of nicotine dependence and withdrawal symptoms as well as weak self-motivation. We've taken a whole new approach to smoking cessation in our products. By inputting the user's quit cycle, daily number of cigarettes and daily smoking duration, The Cig's Case will automatically calculate a set of personalized quitting plans suitable for users to gradually quit smoking.

When users interact with the small robot Marvin in the product, their relatives and friends will also participate in the interaction of the product as the supervisory/hortative personnel of the users to quit smoking. Through acoustic and physical interaction patterns, the product can help users divert their attention from smoking and realize the harm and unnecessariness of smoking through their sense of belonging and guilt to their family and friends.

Technical Description

Our product has been enhanced from the prototype stage in three main areas: the structure of the cigarette case, the interactive features and the hardware enhancements.

Firstly, for the structure of the cigarette case, we used a harder and better looking acrylic sheet than the previous plastic covered cardboard. We designed an AutoCAD drawing of the double-layer acrylic case for laser cutting, using frosted pink acrylic for the outer layer and clear acrylic for the inner slot. Additional inlays were made for the front screen, side buttons and back touch sensor to ensure aesthetic appeal, and a precisely designed mortise and tenon construction for each plane to ensure stability once assembled.

For the interaction function, a copper plate and a flexible plastic sheet with a copper foil bonded to it are used as sensors to detect the picking or placing behaviour of the cigarette in the cigarette slot. Normally, when a cigarette is placed in the slot, it acts as an insulator preventing the plastic sheet from coming into contact with the copper plate. Once the cigarette has been pulled up, the plastic sheet will make contact with the copper plate to energise it to record the action, and vice versa.

For the hardware upgrade, in order to ensure that the box is not too large and at the same time improve its functionality and interactivity, we spent the group's budget on new hardware, including a new adafruit motherboard and an 8x8 pixel board which displays images clearly. The functional and visual presentation maintains the full functionality of the prototype stage in a significantly reduced size.

Final Statement

At the exhibition, the weather was a bit cold but sunny, the shadow of the tent ensured the normal display of our product's pixel and laptop video looping. After the sunset, our booth also attracted many visitors due to the interesting patterns displayed by the pixel. As we were assigned a location close to the main entrance of the Andrew Building, our product almost became the end of the exhibition route, but the enthusiasm of the visitors far exceeded our expectations.

We once used real cigarettes with better softness and elasticity for display. However, considering the possibility of minors participating in the exhibition, we replaced them with fake cigarettes assembled with oak and painted with dyes on the day before the exhibition.

During the exhibition, we found that the fake cigarettes exerted excessive pressure on the elastic plastic sheets inside the case, causing them to lose their elasticity. The consequence is that the case is difficult to detect the movement of pulling out the cigarette. Luckily, there was still a piece of plastic that held up its strength, so we used it most of the time for our interaction demonstrations, and it worked successfully and accurately till the end of the exhibition.

During the demonstration of individual interactions, the audio speaker had a technical issue. The team quickly checked and fixed this unexpected problem that was caused by a wrong operation when initializing the case. Then we continued to use canonical initialization in the follow-up event.

Most visitors have positive comments on our products and supporting materials.

About 20% of all visitors fit our target audience (smokers who want to quit). One audience showed high interest in the functionality of the case, and admitted that the Calling punishment would actually interfere with his desire to smoke. At the same time, most of the visitors also filmed interactive videos to share with their smoker friends. This is evidence of our success in communicating the concept of interaction design.

For non-smoking visitors, they appreciated the structural design of the case, whether it is the precise internal slot assembly or the aesthetic case appearance. In addition, they said that giving cigarette packs a personality to interact with was a novel experience. They will usually ask to interact again after the interaction flow for the pixel patterns. When we expressed the design concept of interactive punishment, they thought it would be really embarrassing to do these operations in public space, which is what we expected.

Our next step will sense the user's contact information through a principle similar to the Apple Watch to truly achieve level 2 punishment. Since some visitors felt that the size of the case was too large, the space design of the case could be further iterated. Similarly, conveying text through scrolling is a bit tiring for users to read. We believe that replacing pixels with the LCD screen can solve this problem and optimize the user experience as well.