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Despite the availability of breathalyzer devices on the market, few people actually own them. They’re often cumbersome, require frequent calibration and have mouthpieces not conducive to sharing. But would increased adoption help more people avoid risky decisions? That’s what Edge Tech Labs is trying to accomplish with their current Kickstarter campaign for DrinkMate.
DrinkMate is claimed to be the world’s smallest and lightest breathalyzer, measuring in at 1.8″ long, 0.62″ in diameter and a scant 0.2 oz (small enough to carry on a keychain). It doesn’t require a battery because it’s powered via Micro USB port and power consumption is negligible for short periods of time on phones. As of right now, DrinkMate is only compatible with Android OS devices.
DrinkMate works using a free app users download to their mobile device. Users plug DrinkMate into their phone and give it a few seconds to warm up and stabilize. After blowing into the mouthpiece-free device for four seconds, the BAC is immediately displayed.
For those into nitty gritty details, DrinkMate uses a low-cost semiconductor-based sensor. The air inlet into which users blow is designed to slow airflow for correct measurement, which is a marked improvement over many breathalyzers. Accuracy is rated at +/- 0.01% BAC at a BAC of 0.02% and validated using testing and calibration kits from Lifeloc Technologies, a leader in the field.
The Kickstarter campaign runs until September 24 and a pledge of $25 gets campaign supporters a DrinkMate from the first batch being manufactured.
Even though this first round of production leaves out iOS users, perhaps a successful launch on Android can enable more widespread use. It’s inspiring to see someone take a shot at preventing people from making poor decisions behind the wheel. Do you think they’ve made it too convenient not to own one?