Could This Wearable Help Prevent Drunk-Driving Incidents?

Photo: Courtesy BACTrack.
In my experience, the hardest part in convincing a drunk friend to not get behind the wheel is convincing them that they are way more than "just buzzed" in the first place. With empirical data from a breathalyzer, it's undeniable: If you're over .08, you are legally drunk, and should not drive a vehicle. But who carries a breathalyzer all the time? BACtrack, which already makes a variety of portable and Bluetooth-connected breathalyzers, could have the answer in an even more convenient package — a wearable breathalyzer. Called the BACtrack Skyn, it's a black or metallic bracelet that uses transdermal monitoring to track the ethanol particles in your skin. That's right — you don't even need to breathe into an apparatus for this device to work. It just measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) passively, right there on your wrist, and delivers that information to an app. The implications of this are tremendous. One of the biggest things I learned from testing out some portable breathalyzers was at exactly what BAC level I was pleasantly buzzed. By monitoring that level, I could better maintain that buzz without tipping into too-drunk territory. The Skyn could do the same thing, alerting you when you've reached a certain threshold. You can use that information to pace yourself, or as a cut-off point. And of course, it would also be incredibly useful for knowing if you're as okay to drive as you think you are, and when you should definitely call an Uber. (Of course, the better idea is to always have a dedicated DD, or plan hailing a ride in the first place.) The Skyn (and its pricing) isn't available yet, but you can be notified when it goes up for pre-order. While it looks a little chunky compared to other newer wearables out there, if you know you're going to be raging all day or all night, it could make sense to swap the Fitbit for this bracelet. At the very least, it could help you avoid a nasty hangover.

More from Tech

R29 Original Series