July 8, 2006 There’s been a lot of talk on the tech blogs about LG’s Korean-only LP-4100 Sobriety phone and the possibility it will roll out in the United States. The phone has a built-in breathalyzer and is selling very well in Korea. Indeed, given that between 15 and 30% of all road deaths (depending on your country) involve drivers over the legal blood alcohol limits, and there’s been so much kerfuffle since it was shown at CES in January, you’d think it’d be a certainty to debut shortly. But apparently not. LG emphasised when we asked that “this phone will not be launching in the US this year, and at this time there are no plans to bring it over to the US at all. The original article announcing this phone was incorrect.” We have previously tested a personal breathalyser and thoroughly recommend them as essential kit for anyone who consumes alcohol and then drives/rides, so obviously we’re very keen on this idea, particularly for young people who are, according to the statistics, particularly at risk.
Strangely, in addition to the breathalyser, the cell phone is equipped with an advanced universal remote control feature and it is styled like a sports car. There’s also a 1.3 megapixel camera and an MP3 player.
Indeed, even LG Australia was quick to point out that it had no plans for distributing the phone, and Australians are at the extreme end of the drinking and driving scale. Go figure????