Friday, January 6, 2012

BreathalEyes App Detects Drunken (Potential) Drivers


When the cops pull you out of your car too see if you’re too drunk to drive, they might test for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) before they tase you to the ground. HGN is a herky-jerky movement of the eyes, and is one of several field sobriety tests employed by police to see if your blood alcohol level is too high.
And now, of course, there’s an app for that.
BreathalEyes uses the iPhone 4’s camera to detect a lack of “smooth pursuit.” That is, the subject is told to look as far as possible to one side and the camera watches for fast, involuntary eye movement. It then uses this data to gauge the BAC of the testee. The people behind BreathalEyes have tested it alongside a breathalyzer and found it to be accurate in the range of 0.02% – 0.17% (+/- .02%) BAC.
The test requires two people, one of whom needs to be sober to administer it. And there’s the rub: if one of your friends thinks you’re so drunk that he wants to test you, that should be warning enough. You probably don’t need to actually take the test.
For idiots, though, who think that its OK to drive after any amount of alcohol, this could be just the thing to tell them how dumb they are. In which case, $1 is a tiny price to pay.


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