In the United States, it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level over .08. This simple fact is drummed into our heads in middle school health classes, but there is one thing missing -- how do we know what .08 really is? Until we're given a breathalyzer test or a finger prick from the cops, we don't.
Researchers from the University of California at San Diego are out to change that.
“We developed a new tattoo-based wearable alcohol sensor that enables real-time monitoring of blood alcohol level, overcoming limitations of conventional non-invasive alcohol sensors,” Jayoung Kim, a co-author of the project and PhD student at UCSD, told Quartz.
Kim and his team have developed a new "tracker tattoo," which consists of a small electronic board magnetically attached to a temporary tattoo that is stuck on the user's skin. The tattoo releases a drug called pilocarpine, which causes the user to sweat. The tattoo's sensors measure the alcohol content of the sweat and transmit the data to the user's cell phone via Bluetooth.
The tattoo was successfully tested on nine volunteers. The next step for the team is to personalize the tattoo and create a user-friendly smartphone app, according to Quartz.
Lead Image Credit: Toronto Eaters via Unsplash