Prove you didn’t drink too much last weekend with the BACtrack Skyn

There are many reasons to track blood alcohol content, including your own. The utility is so great the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Wearable Biosensor Challenge offered a $200,000 prize for the best design. And of eight entries, the BACtrack Skyn wristband prototype won the award, according to Reuters. The Skyn, which has yet to be submitted to the FDA for marketing approval, measures ethanol in your sweat and converts the data into a blood alcohol reading.

Related: See here for more BACtrack products and accessories

You may remember the BACtrack for its Breathalyzer, a mobile device that works with a smartphone. You blow into the Breathalyzer for 3 to 10 seconds and it senses the alcohol in your breath. You can send a selfie via the application showing it’s really you blowing into the device and not some dedicated driver (or devoted friend) doing double duty. Well, the Skyn does the same thing but you wear it on your wrist. And rather than measure booze on your breath, it reads your sweat.

There are some advantages to using the Skyn (once it’s actually available) over the Breathalyzer. For one thing, it can be set to monitor continuously, from every second to every 10 seconds, giving you an ongoing reading of your blood alcohol. Also, if you’d rather not have everyone in the bar or at the party know that you’re monitoring your alcohol intake, and perhaps sending the data to family members or others who want or need to know, the wristband is unobtrusive. If anyone asks what it is, and you don’t want them to know, tell them it’s measuring your aura or something.

Another Skyn advantage is that continuous monitoring can give you or your physician information over time. Continuous data has greater usefulness than the single-point-in-time measurement you get from blood tests or breath tests. After data is transferred via low power Bluetooth to a smartphone, it’s saved in sessions.

If you think that two glasses of wine at dinner don’t really affect you, try it a few times wearing a Skyn and then look back to see what’s really going on. Also, if you are concerned about your drinking and seeing someone about it, rather than just reporting on yourself verbally, which everyone knows is pretty much fantasy, you could send a report from the smartphone app that displays the summary information from each session.

However, you can’t use the Skyn for instant ‘How-hammered-am-I?’ tests. It takes about 45 minutes for the alcohol to process through your system and exit via sweat. As a result, Officer Friendly won’t be asking you to strap one on at a traffic stop.

So the Skyn won’t be good for sobriety field testing, but it will be useful for sobriety/inebriation tracking, which in the long run, makes it a much more valuable health aid.

Product Review

Montblanc Summit 2 offers smart functionality but still looks good with a suit

Montblanc’s Summit 2 is the first smartwatch to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. It’s feature packed, with GPS, NFC for Google Pay, and a heart rate sensor, but it also has the classic timepiece look.

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.

Breathe easy, stay warm with Amazon’s one-day deal on a Dyson air purifier fan

Dyson is a leader in bringing consumers the latest in heating, cooling, and air purification. Its Pure Hot + Cool Link HP02 does all three — and for today only, it’s on sale on Amazon for $359. That’s $241 off the suggested retail…

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Conquer the cold season with the best heated clothing and outdoor apparel

If you're thinking about going outside this winter, heated apparel is a must. Luckily, we've rounded up some of the best heated clothing, whether you're looking for battery-powered gloves or heated insoles.

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.