Smartphones have capabilities that replaced an entire store full of electronic equipment, but who knew that they might someday replace the standard breathalyzer? In addition to multimedia equipment and everyday tools, there’s also an accelerometer in there.
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No matter how well you think you’re walking when you’re intoxicated—especially if you compare yourself to your friend in the gutter—subtle and not-so-subtle changes in your gait could betray your alcohol level. And if you’re carrying a smartphone, its onboard accelerometer can pick up those changes. In fact, scientists from University of Pittsburgh just published research showing that, in the lab at least, they can use smartphone motion data to detect if a subject is intoxicated, with an average accuracy of 93 percent. It sounds like fun and games—getting people loaded and watching them stumble around for science—but the work could have some serious utility.
While this use of technology may raise some legal and ethical questions, it may also have useful applications for treating problem drinking. Read about the experiment and what it could mean at Wired. -via Damn Interesting
(Image credit: Carol VanHook)