Giving a Middle Eastern pastime a healthy upgrade
Featured in Design Week and with worldwide excitement for the eventual launch of the product in 2024.
Over 100 million people smoke shisha worldwide with the highest concentration in the Middle East. Tobacco is burned to create a smoke that is inhaled at a volume of around 90,000ml in a 1 hour session. To put that into context, smoke inhalation from a single cigarette is around 500ml, and, unlike in a cigarette, shisha smoke is not filtered making it twice as toxic. With each inhale, shisha smokers are breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide, tar and heavy metals, putting them at risk of mouth, lung and stomach cancer and heart disease.
In recent years, E-Shishas have popped up on the market. Using the same technology as a standard vape, a glycerine based liquid is heated to release a vapour. Removing the tobacco, this alternative to traditional shisha cuts cancer risks. However, the levels of heavy-metals, including arsenic and lead, are actually increased in vape smoking compared to tobacco.
Over the past 3 years, the team at Medad Technology in the UAE have been developing a means of using ultrasonic vibrations to turn a glycerin + nicotine mix into a fine mist. This patented technology produces no carbon monoxide, no smoke and no heavy metals.
The design brings the hookah pipe into the 21st century. With a nod to the traditional silhouette from one side, as you move round the form, a window opens up presenting a seemingly solid gold chamber that houses the technology.
The top of the device is released to reveal the pod housing where bespoke flavoured Nesta pods can be added two at a time.
Whilst there is no requirement for a water vase as the mist doesn’t need cooling, we’ve decided to include one to maintain that bubbling experience synonymous with shisha smoking. On the Nesta shisha however, the water is hidden, adding to the mystery of how the technology works.
The shisha can be connected via bluetooth to a mobile app that enables the user to monitor their nicotine intake, giving them a holistic view of their usage and smoking behaviour and with a battery designed to last up to 8 hours, it is a truly wireless experience.
Design for upgrade
The body of the Nesta is made from a single piece of extruded aluminium, reducing the use of plastic where possible and the entire device is designed for disassembly for repair or upgrade. This is particularly important as, much like an Nespresso machine, the Nesta works with replaceable pods. If in the future the pod design needed to change, existing users could simply update the insert in the top of the device rather than replacing the full hookah.
The new technology also offers the potential to cut the emissions that come from traditional shisha pipes, which produce about 143 grams of CO2 for every gram of tobacco burnt.