A Sober Look at the Breathalyzer - DrinkMate Semiconductor Review

    For the first time, DrinkMate came to us in September last year, almost immediately after the last update of the campaign on Kickstarter .

    We played enough with the sample, provided this opportunity to our friends, and then decided to “put DrinkMate” in very, in our opinion, extreme conditions: to test it on a sober person.

    This desire was due to a "blasphemy" against the majority of semiconductor-type breathalyzers, which are consistently condemned for "illegibility" and insufficient accuracy of readings as opposed to electrochemical gadgets. In particular, it is alleged that in some cases, for example, in the absence of calibration, sooner or later they will begin to "show alcohol" in an absolutely sober person, reacting to nicotine.

    Despite this, some semiconductor breathalyzers are also known among professional technicians, including the Russian Hunter, the Belarusian Alkotest, the Ukrainian Alkont and some others that analyze changes in the conductivity of the sensor, which is affected by ethanol vapors. DrinkMate is

    also of the same type ., but at the same time he, as it seemed to us, has a number of advantages, functional and stylistic. Least:

    • The gadget is unusually miniature, and this makes it very convenient in terms of transportation: it fits perfectly in your pocket and is removed from there if necessary. In contrast to most, even the already mentioned models, DrinkMate is an almost weightless cylindrical "chip".
    • The absence of a display and other pointers to a measuring device does not give out an breathalyzer in it, which allows it to be used delicately and does not characterize a person.
    • Lack of battery eliminates the error due to a low battery.

    How it works The

    device synchronizes with the phone through the port and works in tandem with the proprietary application for iOS and Android , which give tips on how to use the breathalyzer and allow you to fill out your profile: gender, weight, choice of country and language, choice of units of measurement:

    Application will not let you make a mistake in the sequence of actions or do something earlier than it should be. First, of course, you need to connect DrinkMate to your smartphone, then wait ten seconds - the sensor will warm up, and then blow. At the same time, the words diverge from the picture. From the visual instructions it follows that the breathalyzer should be brought to the lips almost close, although the text recommends maintaining a distance of 3-4 cm.

    However, errors can occur if you exhale incorrectly. This should not be done very quickly, evenly, sending a stream of air, and not jerky "exhale". Otherwise, you will receive an error message, after which you will have to wait until the sensor cleaning procedure is completed to repeat the measurement.

    This procedure can take several minutes, however, it can be reduced by manually ventilating the breathalyzer, as recommended in the screenshot. Then you can begin to measure again.

    From the very beginning, they scared us with an error for everything. Nicotine, citrus fruits, kefir and kvass, which was kept in a warm place, bananas and cherry juice ... Therefore, as a person who has not been drinking for a couple of years, I stocked up with each of the samples.

    And I must say that I systematically received a zero result, despite all the zeal. For comparison, I took an old sample of the Chinese mobile Hohoney breathalyzer, whose operation is based on the same principle, and after kvass and cigarettes, for example, I counted a couple of illegal units for me.

    In order to get a little larger numbers, I asked my wife to drink some expensive cherry beer to make sure that the device is capable of such numbers. She quickly mastered half 0, 33, after which we smoked on the balcony, and then drank the rest.

    The default units are BAC, or “blood alcohol concentration”, which corresponds to: 0.1% BAC = 1 ppm, for example, 80 mg% = 0.08% BAC = 0.80 ppm. And this, in general, looks like low alcohol cherry beer.

    The measurements are not according to the instructions: a quick sharp exhale, a very close distance:

    In any case, no matter how trusted or, on the contrary, distrust any numbers with DrinkMate, the developers display a warning message that you should not take the readings as a guide to action. You need to understand that such a breathalyzer is an analogue of common sense, and if you understand that the evening went well, it is better to try to call a taxi, rather than drive behind the wheel.

    The device will be an excellent gift and souvenir, which is easy to take with you to quickly use it with virtually no special long preparation. It is sold in an oblong box, inside of which is a breathalyzer and accessories.

    In length, it does not exceed five centimeters, and its diameter is smaller than the beer lid. It consists, as it were, of two parts: a sensor and a cover, which covers USB or Apple Lightening for connecting to the phone and gives the device a finished cylinder shape. On the opposite side are the holes into which you need to exhale.

    The cost of DrinkMate is 3,000 rubles .

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