From driving directions to managing calendars, people rely on smartphones to make life easier.
Two recent graduates of North Carolina State University are hoping their technology could help smokers kick the habit.
Nicotrax, a smart-case and mobile app combo that tracks cigarette use patterns, counts cravings and identifies urge-triggering locations, launched on Aug. 3.
Suraaj Doshi and Kyle Linton, the designers, hope to raise $50,000 on Indiegogo to support the technology.
“Whenever somebody removes a cigarette, it pings the smartphone app and collects all the different data,” Doshi said.
“We can track when they smoke, where they smoke and who they’re smoking with,” Linton added.
Once the app learns a smoker’s patterns, it will send notifications to try to prevent the user from lighting up. The app can send articles or games as distractions or messages from doctors or counselors working to help smokers quit.
“It’s intriguing,” said Carol Ripley, a nicotine dependence program coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “Having these technologies to help you understand the behaviors, I think it has a lot of promise.”
Ripley says smokers having access to the data behind their habit can create a powerful incentive to stop.
Linton said the fundraising project will allow him and Doshi to launch a full production of Nicotrax devices.
“We are hoping to reach a lot of people with this product and give them the best chance to quit,” he said.