The innards of Al Linke's metal Altoids box won't keep your breath sweet, but it may keep drunks off the road. Al's Altoids box holds a tiny breathalyzer that may help partiers ascertain whether they've had too much to drink. The alcohol detector in the Altoids box can send the results to an Android phone.
The key component of this project is the IOIO board (pronounced "yoyo"), which enables an Android phone to receive data from external sensors -- the alcohol sensor, in the case of Al's breathalyzer.
The key component of this project is the IOIO board (pronounced "yoyo"), which enables an Android phone to receive data from external sensors (an alcohol sensor, in this case).
This is a very useful device. You can, in privacy, ascertain your state and act accordingly. I looked up the board, and it seems to be a great way to extend the functionality of an Android device. The use of Bluetooth and the Altoids can makes it easy, quick and discrete. It seems that with the latest Bluetooth standards that is quickly becoming the way to go.
One of the things we're seeing with recent gadgets is the use of smartphone, particularly Androids. It's understandable, since the Android offers computing power in a much more portable manner than a desktop or a laptop. Yet one more use for a smartphone.
WOW! Cool project - The IOIO board is very exciting to read about! To be able to have your phone receive data from external sensors and utilize that data through an app opens up a whole new world of applications, limited only by the imagination! And the price for the board at only $50 is amazing. I am already looking to see where I can clear my schedule so that I can check this out in detail and maybe start playing with it myself. The Build Instructions provide a great link to the board designer with lots more detail at
There was a time I would have said that a device like this wouldn't get used by the people (i.e. slightly drunk people) who need it most. But attitudes about drunk driving have changed dramatically in the past decade, and I do think this device could now play a valuable role. This inventor may have developed a potentially succssful app.
With the latest batch of open source software and hardware, doing a Bluetooth smart phone accessory is actually pretty easy. I did a lot of research on the various options (Arduino, etc.) before starting this project, IOIO is the most mature one out there right now for interfacing with smart phones and Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it's Android only for now as Apple does not allow access to the iOS Bluetooth stack without special approval. Although it seems that has changed with the iPhone 4S, I've seen a few folks doing Bluetooth accessories for the 4S, that's encouraging.
If anyone is interested, the product version of this project will be out in about a month, it'll be called the Droidalyzer. Here's some pics of the production board and case.
AI, very interesting funny project. It's unbelievable that we can make a breathalyzer for less than $80. Am planning to have a try for this and next time onwards before driving I can make sure that am within the limit of allowed alcohol level. The video shows some other call feature, is it from the breathalyzer screen or from mobile.
Hi Mydesign, after each alcohol result, a screen pops up on the Droidalyzer mobile app with a number of options: call a taxi, call a friend, facebook and twitter posts, etc. If you've got an Android phone, you can get the app from http://droidalyzer.com, there is a simulation mode and you'll get the gist on how it works. If you can wait about a month, the product version will be out and will cost $50
I agree, Chuck. I believe people are very conscious about avoiding drunk driving convictions. While this device has no legal endorsement, it may let party goers know they could run into trouble if they drive. Good device.
I guess the advantage of the Android is that it is open source. Seems like a wise decision on Google's part to develop the technology, and then give it away. So you product -- as with thousands of others -- is more likely to be developed for the Android.
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