Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4, iPad 2
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Writing is the one profession where alcohol consumption is not necessarily discouraged - a little bit...or a lot...of the sauce can help the words come out easier. But just how drunk am I when I make the magic happen for the people who read my writing? If only there was an app that used science to find out! BreathalEyes (for entertainment purposes only) attempts to measure horizontal gaze nystagmus, which in layman's terms is the movement of the eye left and right, to estimate blood alcohol concentration.
First off, BreathalEyes is not necessarily designed as a self-examination tool - it's designed for a sober person to examine the inebriation of someone who is not sober. This means that self-examination is not necessarily recommended, or at least is difficult - it's a lot easier to try out when an iPad 2 or iPhone 4S is using AirPlay mirroring on a TV to test out for those who are interested in self-examination. It then takes five photographs of the eye, and if it gets steady enough photographs, then it makes a calculation of what the subject's BAC is.
It does seem difficult to get consistent readings - even in tests taken one after the other, they gave off different readings. At least they confirm some form of impairment each time, which is pretty much the baseline for this app. It is a pretty neat piece of technology, using one of the techniques that police use in sobriety tests to determine inebriation. This is without any supplementary information added in, so some degree of inaccuracy is to be expected, but swings in .05% between tests makes it feel a bit like this app is really just making estimated guesses, and really enforces the "for entertainment purposes only" disclaimer. This is likely a better experience on the actual iPhone, especially with flash, as it is not designed for low-light situations, and the app supports enabling/disabling the iPhone 4/4S LED flash for illumination to get better readings.
While the inaccuracies keep this from being a tool that will replace breathalyzers, it's still an interesting experiment, and it does seem to at least detect inebriation in some form. With New Year's Eve coming up, this is a fun tool to bust out at the parties, though multiple tests are recommended for more accurate readings. Just remember to drink responsibly, and to never drink and drive.