Potential drunk drivers now have an app for that

January 9, 2012 by Deborah Braconnier, Phys.org weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- You have spent the night out on the town and had a few drinks with friends. At the end of the evening, you figure you have only had a few drinks. You should be fine to drive right? While this is something that is heard in many bars throughout the country, there is now a new app designed to help you determine if you are indeed sober enough to be driving.

The new iPhone app, known as BreathalEyes, uses the iPhone camera to record and measure a person’s Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN).

This HGN is the involuntary eye movement that can occur when a person is impaired by alcohol and is one of the many different field sobriety tests that are conducted by police officers.

By having a person look into the iPhone camera, the app is able to measure this movement in a 10 second test and then lets drivers know if they are under the influence.

While this app is legally marketed for entertainments purposes only, it has been tested alongside a standard breathalyzer. The results show that the new app has an effective range of 0.02 - 0.18 percent and a (+/-) 0.02 percent accuracy of blood alcohol content, or BAC, levels.

The disadvantage of this app is you cannot administer it to yourself. You will have to have a friend with a steady hand hold the camera. The test must also be conducted in good lighting so that leaves most bars or clubs out.

Currently this app is only available for the 4 or later but the company has plans to have an Android available within the year for the low cost of only $0.99.

Explore further: New mobile app, ShoeBox, helps scan old photos

Related Stories

New mobile app, ShoeBox, helps scan old photos

November 2, 2011

(AP) -- A new smartphone app will help you transition your old paper photos into the digital age. Called ShoeBox, the free app lets you use your iPhone's camera as a photo scanner.

Augmented reality in an iPhone app

June 20, 2011

Imagine you’re in a museum, and you can point your iPhone camera to a painting or an object in an exhibit and instantly get additional information about what you’re looking at. This is what PixLive, an iPhone app ...

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.8 / 5 (12) Jan 09, 2012
Instead of making an app that drunk drivers won't use, make one that knocks them out if they attempt to start their car while under the influence. They get a nice nap, and nobody dies. Win win.
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2012
Much better is to avoid the entire mess and have a friend who doesn't drink accompany you as a designated driver.

If you have anything to drink, or have imbibed in any other drug, you don't belong behind the wheel until you have had sleep or at least a several hour rest period to work it out of your system.

This app will probably get someone killed, because someone will take an OK reading that is marginal or wrong because it was badly administered, and decide to drive home while stoned.

As someone who has lost friends and family to drunks, as well as someone who has been guilty of drinking and driving myself, this article makes me want to weep.
1.6 / 5 (9) Jan 09, 2012

This app will probably get someone killed, because someone will take an OK reading that is marginal or wrong because it was badly administered, and decide to drive home while stoned.

I think you mean "while drunk".
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 09, 2012
from Dictionary.com:
stoned :
1. drunk.
2. intoxicated or dazed from drugs; high
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2012
The reason "drunk" is better here, silverhill, is because it makes more sense contextually in a discussion regarding an app that is designed to test one's level of intoxication, specifically related to the consumption of alcohol (for which "drunk" is an exclusive descriptor), than the word "stoned" which can, as you so adeptly copy and pasted, imply other substances.

So, I would not argue you were wrong for using "stoned". Rather, I would argue your justification is suspect.
not rated yet Jan 10, 2012
Imagine something like this with an App that controls your cars ignition.
not rated yet Jan 10, 2012
How about an app that just drives your car?
not rated yet Jan 10, 2012
Don't worry too much about it; I was just noting to Xbw that s/he was being needlessly exclusive. :-)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.