New Device Doesn’t Need Breathalyzer to See That You’re Drunk

A new device is available that can shine a light through someone’s skin to determine their blood-alcohol level, according to a Boston Business Journal article by David Harris. The technology comes by way of Sudbury-based TruTouch Technologies, which has raised $5.2 million from investors to expand its eight-person company.

The device can determine blood-alcohol content in about 15 to 20 seconds, and can also determine that person’s identity using biometric technology. It also offers network connectivity to allow for this information to be accessed from any device.

So far, the company has mostly been selling its technology to industrial businesses in which there’s a high risk associated with employee intoxication – areas like the petrochemical industry, electric utilities, etc. But the company is also in talks with car manufacturers and government transportation authorities to see how the technology could be implemented to curb impaired driving.

Biometrics technology has been working its way more and more into the business world as companies have adopted measures such as using fingerprint scanners to track employee attendance, and this seems a natural development in that direction. While some professional biometric applications have led to privacy and civil rights concerns – such as the use of such technology to determine health insurance eligibility, and the tracking of professional athletes’s personal lifestyle behaviours – it’s hard to argue against applications such as this one, which could ensure the safety of employees and the customers they serve.

November 26, 2014 by Alex Perala