BACtrack unveils Apple Watch band with built-in blood alcohol monitor

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited January 5
The newly announced wearable BACtrack Skyn comes with Apple Watch strap options, allowing a user to easily check their blood alcohol content from their wrist on the go.




The BACtrack's new Skyn model comes with both a wristband and also Apple Watch strap options, and it's expected to cost roughly $99 when it hits the market in the second or third quarter of this year.

BACtrack Skyn can help users not only track their blood alcohol content "passively, accurately and near real-time," but also give them a glimpse of how their body metabolizes alcohol and when they are within sobriety range again.

Users can also set an alarm or a vibration to be notified when their BAC is above the legal limit. Generally, the wearable will show users how their blood alcohol content is changing while they drink, and can gives an idea of where their levels will end up after their last drink.




According to the BACtrack team, this real-time monitoring could allow for many new research and treatment opportunities. The company believes its more automated hardware will provide more reliable data than existing methods, which require self reporting and breath tests.

The BACtrack Skyn can also track usage of an additional person. This week's announcement at CES did not mention support for Apple HealthKit, but the BACtrack app and previous hardware do integrate with HealthKit.

The company's existing portable iPhone- and HealthKit-connected BAC level monitor, the BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer, was reviewed by AppleInsider. We were surprised by how deep the iPhone integration was implemented.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    calicali Posts: 2,903member
    Wow this is an idea I didn't think of.

    apple should integrate this into the Watch!
    albegarcjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,476member
    FDA approved?
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Awesome!!  What a fantastic idea.  I am def getting one of these
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    eightzero said:
    FDA approved?
    That's the killer...but in their favor they already have alcohol monitors. So they have in place the software/hardware FDA requirements for approval.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,219member
    BACtrack Skyn can help users not only track their blood alcohol content "passively, accurately and near real-time," 
    It is measuring ethanol molecules secreted through the skin. Can that really be accurate or real-time?
    albegarc
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Please tell there is some kind of legitimate medical use for constantly monitoring blood alcohol level, and this is not just the ideal strap for someone who desperately needs a different lifestyle than a daily flirting with drinking and driving.
    crowleybaconstangGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,605member
    cali said:
    Wow this is an idea I didn't think of.

    apple should integrate this into the Watch!
    Then provide an interface with Car Play to flash a big warning on the dash screen if blood alcohol levels are too high to drive. Or maybe even prevent the car from starting, similar to current court mandated ignition interlocks for DUI offenders. All voluntary of course.
    albegarcjbdragoncali
  • Reply 8 of 31
    From their website:  "In May 2016, an initial BACtrack Skyn prototype was awarded the grand prize and $200,000 in the Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge. The challenge was issued by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institute of Health. The goal of the competition was to find an accurate, non-invasive and continuous way to measure a user’s alcohol level in order to aid researchers. Our latest two designs are improved and smaller versions of our initial prototype."

    Pretty good vote of confidence -- granted, this is will be a miniaturized version of the device that won.
    afrodriStrangeDaysretrogustojSnivelywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    This is an appealing product I have to admit.  What about an additional strap for your friend ... kind of like handcuff-links! oooh!!
  • Reply 10 of 31
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,593member
    Cheaper to just leave the car at home when you fancy a pint. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 11 of 31
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,098member
    Please tell there is some kind of legitimate medical use for constantly monitoring blood alcohol level, and this is not just the ideal strap for someone who desperately needs a different lifestyle than a daily flirting with drinking and driving.
    What's wrong with this use case? Seems to offer value to me -- learning how your consumption behavior affects your blood-alcohol levels, in order to get a data-based baseline of your behavior. I see nothing wrong with this at all. No different than those that want data-based workout metrics. 
    caliretrogustowatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    Everyone who drinks at all should have one. Get out jail free card if under legal limit and may deter a DUI imho. Couldn't hurt except in job interview.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 305editor
    Please tell there is some kind of legitimate medical use for constantly monitoring blood alcohol level, and this is not just the ideal strap for someone who desperately needs a different lifestyle than a daily flirting with drinking and driving.
    I reviewed the BACtrack mobile a couple of years ago, and like you, I was extremely skeptical of the product (why does a breathalyzer need to connect to my iPhone?). Admittedly some of the features of their app are superfluous or stupid, such as sharing your BAC on Twitter, and one is kind of terrifying: optional cloud storage — thankfully disabled by default.

    However, there are elements of it that surprised me beyond the obvious "Am I good to drive?" scenario. If you really wanted to get metrics on how your body absorbs alcohol and how quickly it leaves your body, this is an extremely valuable tool. In that respect, it's really no different than any other "quantified self" health product.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/12/07/review-iphone-connected-bactrack-mobile-breathalyzer-with-healthkit-support
    edited January 5 stompyjbdragonretrogustojSnivelyboxcatcherwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,153member
    eightzero said:
    FDA approved?
    Doesn't matter whether it is sold " for entertainment use only" or is FDA approved. Doesn't matter whether it's results are legally binding or not. If it is even marginally accurate, this could be a great tool to keep a questionable driver off the road. If a host takes somebody's keys or if someone decides to stay off the road an extra hour because the app shows they're over the legal limit, it is worth it.
    oneof52caliwatto_cobrakrawall
  • Reply 15 of 31
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,153member
    This is an appealing product I have to admit.  What about an additional strap for your friend ... kind of like handcuff-links! oooh!!
    Actually, if it transmits data to the phone/app using BT, probably no reason two bracelets or bands couldn't be tracked simultaneously. Also, since they claim real-time monitoring, no reason one band or bracelet couldn't be utilized by every guest leaving a party.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    oneof52oneof52 Posts: 101member
    Please tell there is some kind of legitimate medical use for constantly monitoring blood alcohol level, and this is not just the ideal strap for someone who desperately needs a different lifestyle than a daily flirting with drinking and driving.
    What's wrong with this use case? Seems to offer value to me -- learning how your consumption behavior affects your blood-alcohol levels, in order to get a data-based baseline of your behavior. I see nothing wrong with this at all. No different than those that want data-based workout metrics. 
    I'm a criminal DUI attorney.  This has a ton of value. I have clients that test just over the legal limit, but they don't realize they are at that level (they "feel" fine).  To be safe drinking at dinner and knowing you're ok to drive would be great.  Don't drink at all and it's not a problem?  True, but that's not the law.  And for those that test way over the limit, or will use this to try to see how high they can test, yea, not for them.
    jbdragonretrogustoStrangeDaysboxcatcherwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,475member
    Please tell there is some kind of legitimate medical use for constantly monitoring blood alcohol level, and this is not just the ideal strap for someone who desperately needs a different lifestyle than a daily flirting with drinking and driving.
    People's lifestyles involve varying amounts of drinking, and I try not to judge.  What if the only use for this strap was for daily drinkers who are considering whether they should drive or call Uber? 

    I'm OK with that.


    jbdragoncaliStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,944member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Cheaper to just leave the car at home when you fancy a pint. 
    I doubt a pint is going to put you at risk. A few pints, likely, though depending on consumption rate.
    edited January 5
  • Reply 19 of 31
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,475member
    mike1 said:
    eightzero said:
    FDA approved?
    Doesn't matter whether it is sold " for entertainment use only" or is FDA approved. Doesn't matter whether it's results are legally binding or not. If it is even marginally accurate, this could be a great tool to keep a questionable driver off the road. If a host takes somebody's keys or if someone decides to stay off the road an extra hour because the app shows they're over the legal limit, it is worth it.
    Well, someone could argue the counter side of that:  what if someone decides to go ahead and drive based upon an errant reading to the low side?

    But I'm going to side with you on the basis of experience.  My wife and I go out for dancing & drinks approximately every other week.  We usually leave our car at home and take Uber to the club instead, because we know we are going to be drinking and don't want to be tempted to drive the car back home.  However, sometimes we do drive to the club.  On these occasions, we always take a high end portable breathalyzer with us so we can monitor our BAC and make good choices later.  Whenever we take the breathalyzer out of my wife's purse in the club, the folks we are with become very intrigued.  It's like a novelty, and they all want to try it numerous times throughout the night.  (Of course we try to sanitize the breathing tube before passing it on, lest we pass too many germs.)  Anyway, my observation has been that the general awareness of the group is increased, and curiously enough I see a correlation:  far more people we are with Uber home on those nights than on others.

    Obviously it wouldn't be so easy to pass around the watch.  But the point remains that I believe the general awareness of the wearer and perhaps his/her close companions (even if they don't use the watch) is increased.  The cautious thought is simply brought to mind, and that is helpful.
    edited January 5
  • Reply 20 of 31
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,475member
    Templeton said:
    Everyone who drinks at all should have one. Get out jail free card if under legal limit and may deter a DUI imho. Couldn't hurt except in job interview.

    I agree with your thought that everyone who drinks could use this capability, but I would have characterized it as a "gives you some mental comfort card" rather than a "get out of jail free card".  Like the criminal DUI attorney said above, "To be safe drinking at dinner and knowing you're ok to drive would be great."  That's mental comfort.  But "get out of jail free" implies some legal leverage, which a personal breathalyzer will not have when placed up against a professionally calibrated and administered breathalyzer test.  If the latter says you are over, then you are likely going to face the music regardless of the former says.
    mike1
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