This Cool Gadget Tells You It’s Time to Stop Drinking

Sometimes when you’re out partying, or kicking back a few “cold ones” after work, it can be hard to gauge exactly how drunk you are. But before you drive away impaired and risk your life, or anyone else’s for that matter, you may want strap on BACtrack to avoid having “one too many.”

‘I’m not drunk!’

You may not think you’re drunk, but if you’re experiencing a slight impairment of speech, balance and hearing, and your reaction time is slowed, then you just might be.

The BACtrack Skyn, worn like a wristwatch, can help you figure out when it’s time to stop drinking by detecting the ethanol molecules seeping through the skin — after you’ve consumed alcoholof course. To gauge your blood alcohol content (BAC) the device sends continual reports — as many as one per second —to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Award-winning design

 This ingenious gadget from BACtrack recently won the National Institutes of Health’s  (NIH) award for a “Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge.” The competition involved designing a discreet device capable of measuring BAC in near real-time.

Along with other entries, the BACtrack was judged on accuracy, reliability and frequency of blood alcohol measurements. The designs were also judged on how accurately they could collect and store data or transmit data to a wireless device, how secure and private they were, and the developers manufacturing plans. In addition, the designs had to be marketable, appeal to consumers and of course be practical, according to the NIH. The purpose of the competition was to rouse public and private investment in alcohol-monitoring devices.

Since wearable technology is becoming increasingly popular, this wristband could have a lot of appeal and potential for reducing alcohol related accidents, by simply answering the wearer’s question: “am I sober enough to drive?”

–Katherine Marko

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