2016 San Francisco Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design
design champion, best studio, best start-up & best supplier
plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage
growing demand for design


Project Overview

PAX 2 is the most technologically advanced vaporizer available. PAX 2 heats loose-leaf material to release vapor. Features include motion and lip-sensing technology that automatically adjusts the temperature; auto-cooling; self-optimizing temperature and power; two, interchangeable mouthpieces, with an integrated power button; simple, elegant design; user friendly interface; four temperature settings; AC and USB charging options; heats in as little as 45 seconds; and hidden features and fun modes for sharing with friends.


PAX Labs


Cole Hatton, Kevin Lomeli, Krista Hunter, James Monsees and Adam Bowen

Project Brief

PAX 2 offers an intelligent, lip-sensing technology that automatically adjusts the temperature while the consumer is using it, avoiding unnecessarily heating the user's material, and providing consistent draws. The form factor was designed with the appropriate texture and size to consistently deliver a pleasurable experience to the consumer, while still featuring a fully sealed vapor path with food grade stainless steel and silicone that it is leak-proof, cleanable and safe. PAX 2 heats loose-leaf material, instead of burning it, releasing active ingredients and natural oils into a subtle vapor. This process produces no combustion, eliminating secondhand smoke. PAX 2 is 25 percent smaller and ten percent lighter than the original PAX, with up to 30 percent longer usage time. The device has a streamlined profile with an integrated and enhanced LED communication interface.

Project Innovation/Need

PAX 1 is the market leading premium portable vaporizer; our challenge was to improve it. As we are constantly looking to develop upon various features, our innovation comes from our intensely valued customer feedback. With these responses in mind, we further integrated hardware and software, making the PAX 2 smaller, faster, smarter, more robust, longer lasting on a single charge, and more straightforward use. PAX 2 demonstrates the thoughtful design and advanced technology we are known for.

Design Challenge

While making an industry-leading device smaller, we had to innovate utilizing space more efficiently. The design was based on iterative trial and error and many user studies. The goal was to improve on what we’d learned with PAX 1. Another challenge was securing the internal assemblies into the device shell. We combined a more tamper-proof anchoring mechanism with the device charging contacts, solving two problems, and used a complex light pipe system that minimized the space needed to 4 LEDs.


PAX 2’s environmental impact boils down to our commitment to reducing excess waste in the world. We reduce by building products that last, so they won’t be replaced as often. This means choosing high quality, durable materials with components that are extensively tested for longevity. PAX 2 comes with a 10-year warranty, which is almost unheard of in consumer electronics. We go to great lengths to make this possible, because it makes sense not only for the consumer, but for the environment as well.

In addition to our mantra of reduction, there are many ways that electronics hardware designers in particular can improve environmental performance in their products. The use of electronics, sensors, and software can make products more dynamic and self-adjusting, optimizing the use of energy. As smart products designers, we're constantly thinking of ways our products can sense what’s going on, and how the users interact with them. PAX 2 senses when it touches the user’s lips and adjusts power accordingly. With its accelerometer, it can also sense when it isn’t in use, automatically shifting into low power standby to conserve energy.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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