Tech Spotlight: 'DrinkMate' Breathalyzer for Smartphones

Tech Spotlight: 'DrinkMate' Breathalyzer for Smartphones

The makers of the new “DrinkMate” for smartphones hope that putting a breathalyzer in a user’s pocket will make him or her think twice about getting behind the wheel while drunk.

Washington D.C.-based Edge Tech Labs claim the “DrinkMate” is the smallest breathalyzer in the world. It measures just 1.8 inches long and weighs an almost non-existent 0.2 oz. Users connect the breathalyzer to a smartphone’s miniUSB charging port and blow into an “innovative air inlet” to get their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level displayed on screen almost instantly.

The DrinkMate claims to have an accuracy of +/- 0.01% BAC at a BAC of 0.02%. Additionally, the device can measure a maximum BAC level up to 0.20% BAC, which should be more than enough for anyone seriously considering a drive home after a night of heavy drinking.

Edge Tech Labs is looking to raise $40,000 on Kickstarter over the next three weeks to help manufacture the tiny device, which costs just $25 for those “early birds” who donate to the project. A $235 pledge will get a donor ten DrinkMates, while a $3,000 pledge will get the donor a flight to Washington D.C. with hotel accommodations to meet the team behind DrinkMate and learn how the device was created. 

The project has already raised $32,423 of the $40,000 goal from nearly 900 backers with 24 days left.

The breathalyzer is currently only compatible with a select few Android smartphones, including Samsung’s Galaxy line, the HTC One, and Motorola’s Moto X. The device makers claim on the product’s Kickstarter page that an iPhone version will be developed should the project meet its fundraising goals for the Android platform.

It’s easy to imagine how a small, inexpensive breathalyzer could help save lives in states like North Dakota and Montana, which are ranked one and two, respectively, in states with the most deaths related to drunk driving as of 2012, the last year such data is available. 

Visit the Kickstarter page and reserve a DrinkMate here.

Image: DrinkMate


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