Portable Breathalyzer Fits Into A Watch

Portable Breathalyzer Fits Into A Watch

Soon phones, fitness bands, eyewear and smartwatches could detect if you're too drunk to drive

Cristina DiGiacomo
  • 17 january 2017

Everyday in the United States, 27 people die because of drunk driving accidents. As a preventative measure, a new virtual ‘breathalyzer,’ developed by Israeli scientists from Ben-Gurion University, is being tested to help curb the number of drunk or buzzed drivers on the road. Sure, there are products on the market for self-testing (e.g BACtrack) but they require a separate device or appliance to function. However this new machine learning model could be applied to a standalone app people can turn to on their phones.

In tests, the team collected data as their test subjects responded to different levels of drinking over the course of a few nights. They had participants wear all four different devices—the Google Glass, LG G-watch, Microsoft Band, and a Samsung Galaxy phone—no monitor distinctions in movement and balance.

They determined that monitoring the built-in sensors on the above devices was as accurate as a police breathalyzer test.


In future scenarios, this theoretical app could prevent a smart car from starting or driving if a person is under the influence.

Ben-Gurion University


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