Monday, December 22, 2008

Blow into the iBreath and your iPod plays a blood-alcohol al

The accessory's maker hopes the iPod's cool factor will overcome any stigma of being responsible and using a breathalyzer.

Now the iPod can answer the question: Am iDrunk?

A new product called the iBreath turns Apple Inc.'s iPod into an alcohol breathalyzer. The $79 accessory plugs into the base of the iPod and functions like a field sobriety test. The person using the iBreath exhales into a retractable "blow wand" and the internal sensor measures the blood-alcohol content. Within two seconds, it displays the results on an LED screen. A reading of 0.08 or above sets off an alarm, signaling a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit in all 50 states.

"We figured, OK, if it's only a breathalyzer, the chances are this thing is coming off the iPod and sitting in the drawer," Bassler said. "If we put in the FM transmitter, they might keep it on there."

Dean-Mooney questions the accuracy of the device. Law enforcement agents use instruments that are calibrated monthly, and accurate readings require the person taking a field sobriety test to blow "deep lung air," she said. iBreath claims to offer results in as little as five seconds within 0.01% accuracy.

"I'm afraid it not only causes young people to use it as a training tool but also gives them a false sense of security. 'I'm good to go,' " Dean-Mooney said. "Your blood-alcohol content goes up for 30 minutes after you stop drinking."

read more | digg story

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