There are plenty of ways to tell when someone has had one too many drinks, from difficulty walking straight to slurred speech, but there are still many instances of impaired driving that put all drivers and passengers on the road at risk. A new smartphone-based Breathalyzer wants to change this, by providing accurate readings of blood alcohol levels to anyone who breathes into the reader.
The easily portable product plugs right into your smartphone and displays the Breathalyzer results on the phone screen. The device, which was originally pitched to investors on the TV show Shark Tank, can be plugged into any smartphone’s headphone jack. The user breathes into a reader that measures blood alcohol level and transmits the results to a partnering Breathometer app.
In addition to determining whether or not you are fit to drive legally, the app also suggests and helps you find alternative modes of transportation for getting home after a night on the town.
The Breathometer system, consisting of the app and physical device, is currently listed for $50 for all pre-orders. The system is compatible with mobile devices running iOS 7 and Android version 2.3 or later.
Since its appearance on Shark Tank, which earned it $1 million in initial funding, Breathometer has been put into production. In April 2013, the app received another $138,377 through an IndieGoGo campaign. On Thursday October 17th, the device received an impressive $2 million in seed money. The company plans to put that funding towards speeding up the manufacturing process so they can fill all of their pre-orders.
However, Breathometer is not without competition. Rival app and device Floome was released in May 2013 and provides a similar service to users with “professional-grade accuracy.” Another competitor is Alcohoot, which promises an “enforcement-grade” reading of blood alcohol level.