People in Massachusetts and across the country could one day be using their smartphones to tell them when they are too drunk to drive. A system is under development that involves a smartphone app paired with a wearable device that detects blood alcohol content through perspiration.
The device looks like a temporary tattoo, according to the director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, which is funding its development. Engineers at the University of California, San Diego created the biosensor patch, which releases a chemical that stimulates perspiration under the skin, and then measures the alcohol content in the perspiration. The plan is for wearers of the device to pair it with a Bluetooth smartphone so that the phone can send an alert message if their alcohol level is unsafe for driving.