Lapka's BAM takes intoxication-monitoring to hand
By Ben Coxworth
December 31, 2013
If there's one thing that people associate with New Year's Eve, it's getting drunk. Some folks may use one of the various new portable breathalyzers to watch that they don't get too hammered, although those typically involve placing your lips against the device every time you use it. Lapka's Breath Alcohol Monitor (BAM), however, simply requires you to blow into your clenched hand.
The BAM itself takes the form of a black ceramic cylinder, that uses inaudible sound waves to wirelessly communicate with a custom app on an iOS or Android device. No pairing or synchronization is required. One charge of its battery should be good for two to three months of use, depending on how much of a party animal you are.
To use the BAM, you hold it in your fist, take a deep breath, then exhale into the edge of your hand for four seconds – doing so will automatically power the device up, and launch the app. An icon on the app screen indicates when enough of a breath sample has been provided, at which point the device's electrochemical platinum fuel cell sensor goes to work determining your level of intoxication.
You will subsequently see an app display indicating your current blood alcohol level, along with a description of what that means in practical terms (i.e: "You're experiencing over-expression and boisterousness, and your reflexes and reaction time are impaired"). Those descriptions are designed to be increasingly easy to read, the more plastered the user gets – so the highest ones presumably don't use words like "boisterousness."
If you like, you can also enable a feature that will email you a report the following day, letting you know where you were at what times, and how inebriated you were at those times and places. If nothing else, that might come in handy in court.
The Breath Alcohol Monitor is available now, for US$200.