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).
I think your idea is genius!!! It sounds like a perfect way for parents to ensure their children's safety when they are away at college. Can you e-mail me at email@example.com, so that we can speak about your product? Thanks
Perhaps attitudes are changing, but my nephew owns a company that installs car audio systems. For the past year the overwhelming bulk of his work has been installing breath interlock systems in the autos of people convicted of driving under the influence. Too many people are sure they are the only people on the road who can handle the amount of alcohol they have consumed.
As an engineer who designed a standards certified breathalyser 10 years ago, you are correct about the selectivity issues of semiconductor sensors. They also have issues around flow rates influencing readings.
We used an inhouse assembled platinum catalyst phosphoric acid micro cell with a solenoid driven silicone bellows to sample the airstream after 1.5 litres of air been expelled. The ethanol would be 'reacted' fuel cell like to produce a peak in around 5 seconds. Even then stated accuracy was +-10%.
This is the method most law enforcement units use. Evidential units will normally use infrared with pre and post sampling of a reference gas.
That is an astonishing statistic, Chuck. I had no idea it was that high. Makes you wonder how high the percentage is for texting and talking on cell phones. In some cases, cell phone records are used to see if the driver was on the phone when a fatal accident occurred:
You're absolutely right, cvandwater, it actually is very simpl to avoid driving drunk. Yet, somehow, 32% of our annual highway fatalities in the U.S. are caused by drivers over the limit. Seems incredible, but it's true.
Thanks for the link, Al. that was good thinking to avoid adding a Blood Alcohol Content reading to the app. Very responsible. That could certainly be used to justify what might actually be drunken driving.
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
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