You’d have to living off the grid if you hadn’t noticed the deluge of pocket breathalyzers hitting the market over the past year. There’s stand alone breathalyzers that work with their own battery, breathalyzer apps, breathalyzers that plug right into your smartphone, and now after a successful Kickstarter campaign, a new breathalyzer will soon be hitting the market. This one is billed at being the world’s smallest.
DrinkMate is about the size of a USB stick and plugs right into the lightning port of your iPhone. When you blow straight into the device, it takes your blood alcohol content (BAC) reading. Because it doesn’t use a tube, DrinkMate is said to be the only device you can pass around to friends.
Like some other pocket breathalyzers, DrinkMate is based on a social sharing platform. People are able to test their BAC and share the results on Twitter or Facebook, and the DrinkMate app will share your BAC alongside the legal US BAC limit of .08. They’ve even included a rolling timer so you know exactly how long it will be until you’re sober.
Although the developers say the idea behind DrinkMate is to create a social situation where everyone is aware of his or her BAC. If people out together know what their BAC is, the theory is that they’ll make the right choice to not drink and drive. What has yet to be proven is how accurate the DrinkMate is.
DrinkMate’s developers say they calculate BAC differently than a breathalyzer, and their accuracy is + / – 0.01% BAC at a BAC of 0.02%, but the technology behind DrinkMate is not yet known. What is known is that most pocket breathalyzers are not designed to use the same accurate and reliable fuel cell technology that an ignition interlock device or police grade breathalyzer are.
All it takes is one look at DrinkMate’s Kickstarter campaign to see that people are interested in seeing the breathalyzer hit the market, so time will tell how well the tiny device works. But when it comes to all pocket breathalyzers, the best rule of thumb to follow is to use caution, and if you have even one drink, don’t drive.
Image from www.engineering.com