Could an Internet Connected Breathalyzer Soon Be In Your Pocket?

AuraAfter fulfilling all of of the brand’s Indiegogo orders from their original crowdfunding campaign, Aura Breathalyzer has sold its product directly on the brand’s website. Now the company is developing a breathalyzer to be connected to the web. 

Furthermore, Aura Breathalyzer has participated in third-party flash sale web campaigns, attended the Luxury Technology Show 2014 in New York City, and traveled to Essen, Germany to accept the “Best of the Best” 2014 Red Dot Award for the Product Design category. So, who might be interested in a luxury breathalyzer?

“Our customers are those who value aesthetic design and prefer a fashionable alternative to existing breathalyzer models. They share the belief that breathalyzers are more likely to be used in public if they are sleek and discreet,” Chris Surapol, Chief Operating Officer, told Hacked.

“They realize that breathalyzers are a physical reminder to drink responsibly,” he added.

They understand that as product designers, we are limited to current technology standards and parts.

AURA’s sensor technology, electrochemical fuel cell sensor technology, is the same technology used in hand-held breathalyzers administered by police departments across the country. Law enforcement models range in price between $600-$1,000, while personal breathalyzers such as AURA generally range between $80-$250. The standards a police-issued handheld breathalyzer are more stringent than those headed for the consumer market.

“Law enforcement models must go through extensive lab testing, they must have built-in printing (record-keeping) capabilities, and they must have an automatic air-pump resetting system to clear out (reset) air from prior tests,” Surapol tells me.

As such, they are much bulkier and more expensive. Personal models are not designed to be used in rapid succession. They should not be passed around amongst friends because most do not have an automatic air-pump resetting system.

For these reasons, AURA is a fashion item with a twist.

“The AURA is designed to be a physical reminder and tool for people to use themselves, or to show their friends,” Surapol says. “We believe that the increased exposure makes people more conscious and aware of drunk-driving limits. Ultimately, we believe this will save lives.”

Surapol told me Aura has been working on a second model that will be compatible with smartphones and thus the Internet. One day soon, people might be uploading their BAC to the internet in real time.

For now, he can’t tell us too much about the smart model, other than they want the device to have bluetooth connectivity, historical data storage with login, social media functions and one-click taxi and Uber functionality. Developing all of this likely won’t be too easy.

“It will take some time to work on all of the above, and determine which to keep, which to remove, and if we can add other functions,” Surapol said.
Images from Aura.
Justin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.