How Smartphones Can Tell When You Had Enough Drinks for a Night

Drinking can usually be a pleasant activity, but even smartphones know that too much of it can have serious repercussions for your health. And our little technological and smart companions are able to raise the alarm and tell us when we shouldn’t drink anymore for one night or day.

Thanks to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, we know that smartphones can tell when their users are drunk by simply analyzing their way of walking. This doesn’t actually sound like innovation, as people can tell when somebody had too much to drink in the exact same way.

Will alcohol consumption be reduced?

Lead researcher Brian Suffoletto, M.D., thinks that such a technology can turn itself useful at least because alcohol consumption will be reduced. He declared:

I lost a close friend to a drinking and driving crash in college,

And as an emergency physician, I have taken care of scores of adults with injuries related to acute alcohol intoxication. Because of this, I have dedicated the past 10 years to testing digital interventions to prevent deaths and injury related to excessive alcohol consumption.

The experiment

Suffoletto, together with his scientist colleagues, recruited 22 people with ages between 21 and 43. The volunteers received drinks to produce a breath alcohol concentration of 20 percent. The researchers then analyzed the breath alcohol concentration of the patients and asked them to perform a simple straight-line walk. The researchers also placed a smartphone on each participant’s body. The outcome is obvious: alcohol consumption hampers a straight-line walk, and the smartphones detected it.

The World Health Organization reveals that alcohol is the culprit for 1 in 20 annual deaths worldwide. Harmful use of alcohol is responsible for the death of up to 3 million people every year. Therefore, let’s hope that smartphones will improve their ways of alerting users to stop drinking when they had enough.

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