As government agencies seek to tighten drunk driving thresholds, an innovative new smartphone breathalyzer was announced today that not only features professional-grade accuracy and improved capabilities but sports a sleek Italian design.
The new, fits-in-your-palm FLOOME™ is the first smartphone app/accessory to give precise Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels equivalent to those measured by bulky, costly professional equipment used in the field.
FLOOME is the first product from 2045Tech, a start-up with staff near Venice, Italy, and Silicon Valley that includes award-winning product designers and developers.
As FLOOME is being announced, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has just recommended that the current blood alcohol threshold for drunk driving be nearly halved: to .05 in all states -- closer to the levels in more than 100 countries. In addition, France has begun requiring a breathalyzer in all cars, while many countries in Europe and elsewhere have long had no-tolerance attitudes toward drunk driving.
According to Fabio Penzo, CEO, at 2045Tech, "The benefit of portable breathalyzers is obvious but there has been an unfortunate trend among the devices now on the market. The cheap ones aren't accurate and the accurate ones are very expensive and extremely ugly. Our goal with FLOOME was to combine accuracy, affordability and great looks."
Video shows performance
FLOOME easily fits in a pocket or purse and will be sold worldwide. To show off the breathalyzer's accuracy, 2045Tech shot a video highlighting how ignorant most people are when it comes to determining their degree of impairment. It also compares results from FLOOME with those from professional equipment. (https://youtu.be/CmhmfIJTnas) In side-by-side comparisons, the two devices delivered very similar results, with less than 0.1 g/L (0.01 g/dL) BAC differences. This confirmed laboratory test results showing a consistent standard deviation of less than 10%.
How it works
FLOOME is the first portable smartphone breathalyzer to incorporate the fuel cell sensors used by law enforcement to measure sobriety and a new patent-pending breath sampling technology, the vortex whistle, that measures breath flow rate and calculates volume. Taken together, these elements provide a highly accurate BAC measurement in seconds. FLOOME connects to any iPhone, Android or Windows smartphone through the standard headphone jack. After a user blows into the mouthpiece with a short puff, the FLOOME smartphone app displays the BAC as well as other helpful and relevant information.
In addition to its accuracy and looks, FLOOME doesn't require a recharge like other breathalyzers and is more hygienic due to its removable, cleanable cap. The user-friendly FLOOME application has features that include:
Time to recovery – Based on input on height, weight and gender, the app uses the FLOOME breathalyzer results and determines exactly how long it will take for users to re-test themselves before driving safely.
- Alarms for repeat tests – Users can set up alarms so that FLOOME can remind them when to re-test their BAC and thus check on their recovery process.
- Taxi calls -- The app provides information on how to call local taxi services.
- Social connections – Lets users share photos of tests and graphs previous results.
Cars not the only problem
While the NTSB's crackdown is spurred by the 100,000 annual U.S. auto fatalities due to drunk drivers, automobiles aren't the only problem area. The driver of any vehicle -- boat, glider, ATV or even a snowboard -- with the potential for collisions can benefit from using FLOOME. In fact, one report noted that "drunk walking" can be more dangerous than driving impaired by a factor of eight.
Easy to hold and lightweight, FLOOME comes in five colors and also has a special jeweled case option. The device is now sold at $65 (£45) and will retail for $80 (£55) when it comes to market in the fall. To meet its first-run production costs, the company is running a crowd-sourced IndieGoGo campaign through June 8 to raise $135,000 at the following link: http://igg.me/at/floome.