These days, smartphones can do just about anything from driving a car to monitoring blood sugar. This year, you can add saving lives to the list – that’s when Breathometer is planning to launch the first-ever smartphone breathalyzer device and app.
Breathometer is a small keychain-sized device that connects directly to your iPhone or Android’s headphone output jack. When you breathe into the Breathometer, your blood alcohol reading is displayed on your phone’s screen. If you blow higher than the legal limit of 0.08%, the app will inform you of public transportation and taxi options in your area.
The FDA-approved Breathometer uses a semiconductor sensor to measure your blood alcohol content, which is much cheaper than the police-grade fuel cell sensors used during traffic stops. The downside, however, is that semiconductor sensors are less accurate and can give false positive readings to those with diabetes.
The makers of Breathometer are raising money for their device on crowd-funding site Indiegogo. Should the Indiegogo project meet its fundraising goals, the BAC monitor itself will ship in November 2013 to all those who pledge $50 to the effort or in January 2014 to those that pledge $20. The company says it will ship the product, regardless of whether they meet their funding goals—just a little later.