Breathometer – saving myself from a holiday dui?

breathometer-logo4-400x340The Breathometer showed up the other day from an indigogo campaign (and I guess they were also on Sharktank with Mark Cuban, but I never watch that show so I didn’t see it).  I have a bad indigogo/Kickstarter habit so I didn’t even remember backing this one.  Or maybe ironically I was drunk when I ordered it?

The Breathometer is a little device that you plug into the stereo jack on your smartphone that when coupled with the app will give you a blood alcohol count (BAC) reading.

I downloaded the app on both Android (Samsung Galaxy Note II) and iPhone 5.  The Android app was super buggy and kept telling me that I had a low battery.  Then it just seemed to go nowhere.  I did get one reading out of it, but that was about it.  For the record, it uses a AAA battery which I swapped out just in case that was a valid error.

When I switched to the iPhone app everything went much more smoothly.  It could see the device and take readings.


I had a few friends over that evening – drinking wine – so we decided to see what our readings were throughout the evening.  We popped it on the phone and started breathing.  The experience is kind of awkward because it is somewhat hard to see when you are supposed to stop blowing.   It is also socially awkward to blow into something that your friend just did.  I’m a bit of a germophobe and grossed me out a little.

photo 2

The app is pretty bare boned at this point.  It has the meter, activity history and call a cab feature that uses GPS to locate the nearest cab services.   The app does make you feel a little bad when it tells you that it will take you x amount of time to ‘get sober’.  For example, I had a glass of wine for lunch one day and then it told me at 2:30 that it take until 6:30 to get sober.  Whaat?  I wasn’t even drunk!

All in all this is a fun device when it is working.  I’m not sure how accurate it is, but it is a good party / bar trick.

Things I’d like to see in the future

  • Guest activity – track my friend’s BAC separate from my own.  There is a button on the tracker that says ‘start for a friend’, but the results stay the same in activity history.
  • More accurate reading based on height, weight, gender.
  • Ability to add notes or # of drinks, type of drinks consumer to an activity reading that would then track how much I could drink based on my history.
  • Better information on what each level of BAC means.  Example:  You are .20 – this means that you can barely stand and would definitely go to jail if you drove.
  • Mouthpieces or something for a germophobe that wants to share.
  • Social sharing – I guess I could let people know I’m drunk?  Or sober….
  • Auditory signal of when to start / stop blowing.
  • An Android app that doesn’t suck.

For the record, I was sober when I wrote this post.