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Your Necklace Could Soon Be Testing Your Blood Alcohol Content


Federal researchers are looking for wearable devices that can unobtrusively and inconspicuously detect a person’s level of intoxication.

The National Institutes of Health is holding a competition searching for designs for “low-profile, wearable technology capable of monitoring blood alcohol noninvasively." Entries could be jewelry, clothing or any device that can inconspicuously touch the human body.

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The prototype should also transmit data wirelessly to a smartphone or device that can collect information about the wearer; it should also be able to measure blood alcohol levels in real time. That type of device could be useful to researchers at the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, but also by people independently seeking rehabilitation, the challenge description says.

The top prize is $200,000, followed by $100,000 for a second place winner. Participants will be judged on the accuracy and frequency of blood alcohol levels, data transmissions and privacy for the wearer, and the likelihood of marketability.

Judges could be technical experts in alcohol, chemistry, engineering, behavioral and social sciences, the people who design in-car alcohol detection systems and wearable devices.

The submission period is open until May 15, 2017, and winners will be announced next August. 

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