BACtrack Skyn Is a Wristband That Tells You How Drunk You Are — And It Could Save Lives
Finally, an activity tracker for how many cocktails you chugged.
BACtrack Skyn is a non-invasive wearable that measures your blood alcohol content and sends data to an iOS device. The booze band won the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge, receiving $200,000.
This device wont kill the breathalyzer, though the Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge's objective was to improve upon alcohol biosensor technology used in the criminal justice system, according to the National Institutes of Health. Currently, the device cannot provide real-time blood alcohol levels — it takes about 45 minutes, according to Reuters.
BACtrack Skyn is a working prototype that lets consumers quantify their alcohol consumption as they might their steps or their sleep, providing users and medical researchers with a recent history of their alcohol consumption.
How it works: The band is equipped with an electrochemical sensor which tracks the ethanol molecules that are released through your skin when you consume alcohol, according to the BACtrack website. The band then uses BACtrack's "proprietary algorithm" to convert the reading into an estimated BAC which is sent to your device.
It can be used as a gentle reminder to slow your roll — your phone can vibrate if your blood alcohol content is getting too high — or as a way to monitor sobriety — it can send a loved one a notification if you're blood alcohol content surpasses 0.00%, BACtrack notes. It can also ping your phone if you are close to surpassing the legal blood alcohol content to drive —.08% in all 50 states — to help curb drunk driving.
It can also be used for medical research. Rather than lean on your fuzzy memory as to how many drinks you consume on average a month, your doctor can simply tap into your wearable's data to get a clearer picture of how often you liquored up since your last visit.
"It can help doctors accurately measure a patient's drinking history, and not just depend on the most recent tests," head of the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Dr. George Koob told Reuters. "This can help a lot with the treatment."
For those who don't care about their average alcohol consumption, strapping on the Big Brother of booze monitoring may seem like a waste of wrist space. For those into the quantifiable lifestyle, "limited quantities" of the BACtrack Skyn will be available at the end of the year.