Meet the first ever tweeting cigarette

UpdateThis project was featured on FastCo, take a look at the article. 

E-Cigarettes have gained popularity as a safer alternative for nicotine-craving smokers. But no e-cigarettes have been connected to the Internet. Until now.

Prompted by a recent New York Times article and a challenge issued by our CTO John Mayo-Smith, the R/GA Prototype Studio team introduced the first-ever Internet-connected e-cigarette on June 24th.

Over the course of a few days, Will Creedle’s experience as a QA Engineer/smoker, Kumi Tominaga’s crazy Arduino skills, Pablo Gomez’s eye for design and my ability to get people to meet at a bar (also some iOS development) coalesced into an event at Tir Na Nog where we showed our creation to the world.

As Will  puffed away throughout the night (yes, you can smoke them indoors) the e-cig communicated via Bluetooth to an iPhone app that showed him how much money he was saving and how many minutes of life he may have reclaimed. The app sent out tweets from @TweetingCiggy throughout the night updating Will’s social circle on his progress.

The project showed how the right technological integration and great design worked to enhance the e-cig user’s experience. With the additional data Will receives about his use, he’s constantly reminded about the importance of avoiding actual cigarettes while applying some social pressure to keep him on the right path. While more research is required to better understand the potential product attributes, more than a half a million people in the US are dying each year from smoking, so there’s never been a better time for creative problem solving.

Check out the video for more information and the actual event.

If you’d like to try this at home here’s the list of parts Kumi used to make it happen:

 Joyetech 510
•   Arduino Uno
•   BLE Shield
•   Breadboard
•   Conductive tape
 2 small alligator clips
 9V battery clip + 9V battery
•  LEDs, resistors and jump wires