BAT (British American Tobacco) isa Fortune 500 company spread across the globe with over 150 million consumer interactions everyday amassing sales across more than 175 markets. BAT has always strived to incorporate new capabilities in its products, focusing on science, innovation, and digital information. Coalescing the rapidly evolving consumer preferences and growth in technology, BAT is aiming for a step-change in its NewCategories (NC) products. In a bid to elevate the user experience and engagement, BAT approached Vicara to introduce an element of intuitiveness and immersion.This project revolved around uplifting the consumer’s experience with BAT’s NC devices, and making their interactions much more engaging.
By simplifying their gesture-based control and recognition in one of its NC devices. This would allow the consumers to conveniently control various functionalities of the device using hand gestures.
With a target of touching £5billion revenue in 2025 for BAT’s New Category products, it becomes imperative to add a sense of intuitiveness and innovation to them. But staying ahead of the curve, can sometimes prove to be challenging and demands domain-specific knowledge which comes with years of experience. Achieving this desired level of expertise in deep-tech can prove to be difficult and time-consuming process. So, to in corporate an edge in its NC devices BAT sought out a company which had experience and expertise in building devices that made human-machine-interactions seamless and simple. Finding a match for these requirements in Vicara, BAT wanted Vicara to accentuate its products by adding gesture-control and recognition.
To introduce an immersive experience for BAT’s consumer’s, Vicara proposed to integrate gesture-based controls in BAT’s New Category devices.
Vicara Motion Engine (VME), Vicara’s proprietary motion tracking technology, enables and offers motion tracking capabilities on the edge or for any MCU. It tracks absolute spatial orientation and relative motion and is extremely suitable for devices with minimal processing power. Leveraging the capabilities of the VME, Vicara integrated its motion-tracking solution into BAT’s existing NC devices. The seamless integration capabilities of VME a made the process as simple as updating the firmware of their device. Vicara set up a few specified gestures forBAT which were corresponding to functions that the consumers would perform. For example:
1. Swipe left – switch on the device
2. Swipe right – switch off the device
3. Rotating a finger – increase the level of vapour
In addition to gesture control, Vicara also designed and developed a dashboard that illustrated the various insights gathered from the devices such as the no. of puffs taken, the strength of each puff, battery level, caution status etc.
Apart from the built-in gestures that were integrated onto their device, Vicara also gave a provision for adding custom gestures based on BAT’s convenience and comfort. The client would be required to select the option to include a custom gesture, and perform the gesture with the device merely three times and it would be all set for use!
By integrating VME with their NC devices, Vicara enabled BAT to offer gesture-based control for its customers. Replacing the old, redundant, and worn-down option of buttons/switches with gestures would not only increase the longevity and life of the NC devices, but would also offer an enhanced experience for their users. This naturally results in amore satisfying feel for its customers and provides with a simpler way to interact with a device of daily-use.
Vicara’s motion tracking solution was integrated with BAT’s New Category devices.Powered by VME (Vicara Motion Engine), gesture-recognition capabilities were added onto the devices enabling the users to control the device using simple hand gestures. Unlike any other device in the market, the VME offered multiple gestures(up to 10) which can be integrated seamlessly consuming minimal processing power.It also provided the liberty of fusing custom gestures based on the client’s comfort and convenience.