Have you ever been out at a bar with your friends, had a couple of drinks, and then wondered if you could safely drive home? Unless you carry a breathalyzer with you, it may be tricky to tell whether your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is below New York’s DWI legal limit or not. According to a recent article from The Huffington Post, BACtrack, a company out of California, has come up with a new solution to this predicament.
The BACtrack Skyn
BACtrack is known for designing portable tests that consumers can use to test their own BAC levels. Recently, they designed a new wearable product called Skyn that reports the amount of alcohol in your system by measuring your sweat. Skyn looks a bit like a cross between a smartwatch and a bracelet and provides a discreet way to keep track of your BAC while drinking with friends. This inventive bracelet works by using fuel cell technology and feeds data to your smartphone in real time via a Bluetooth connection. Although Skyn is not yet available in stores, it is already making waves and recently took home first prize in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge.
The Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge
In 2015, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (part of the National Institute of Health) invited tech startups to compete in a challenge to invent wearables that are able to measure BAC in real time via skin contact. The competition required that the wearables utilize non-invasive technology and judged the submissions based on:
- The device’s accuracy, reliability, and how frequently it measures the wearer’s BAC,
- The reliability of safeguards taken to provide data security,
- The device’s ability to accurately collect and store data,
- The company’s manufacturing plans for the device, and
- The device’s marketability, appeal to consumers, and overall feasibility.
The goal of the competition was to stimulate investment and innovation in the area of alcohol-monitoring devices, a goal that appears to have been achieved. The competition received eight submissions aimed at helping the public discretely monitor how much they’ve had to drink. The competition’s organizers report that most of the submissions consisted of watch-type designs, however, one unique submission was a temporary tattoo that changes color based on the wearer’s BAC level.
The Winning Designs
While the BACtrack Skyn won first place, and took home the $200,000 prize, there were several other notable designs submitted to the Wearable Biosensor Alcohol Challenge.
- Second Place: Awarded to Milo for their wrist-worn BAC sensor with disposable cartridges.
- Honorable Mentions: Awarded to Biolnk for their color-changing tattoo, and TAMS for their transdermal BAC reporting system.
How Can We Help?
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DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.