Smartphone-compatible breathalyzers already exist, but a recent update to the BACtrack mobile and BACtrack vio devices allows them to communicate and share data with Apple’s Health app.
You might immediately ask what the benefits are to having this kind of data shared with Health, but it allows other apps to make adjustments based on your alcohol intake. A prime example is seeing how a heavy night out can affect sleeping and exercise patterns. Before receiving this data about BAC, a bad night’s sleep following a night of drinking would have been an unexplained anomaly. The information remains private, so it’s more about giving you the information you need to stay on top of your health and more accurately understand your limits.
Of course, the implications for alcohol-related research are incredible – if devices like these take off more so than they already have. Studies would have a huge amount of data to work with, and potentially harmful drinking habits would be easier to spot before they become an issue. It’s no secret that Apple has a partnership with Mayo Clinic, and the Health app is a great means to collect important data. Despite recent concerns with iCloud, Apple has had a solid track record of ensuring that data remains private – even going so far as to prevent it reaching government hands.
A BACtrack unit can be kept on your keyring or slipped into a pocket and connects to your iPhone via bluetooth. They are getting much more accurate with each instalment and are currently for sale on BACtrack’s website for $129.99 for the mobile, and $49.99 for the vio editions. The companion app for these devices is available at no extra cost from the App Store.
It used to be that phones and intoxication were a terrible mix. Now it seems that drinking responsibly is being made easier by clever, convenient and reasonably priced gadgetry.
Now, how about a feature that prevents you from sending texts while above a certain BAC level?