BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer
BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer

The BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer is the world’s first professional-grade alcohol breath tester that connects to smart devices via Bluetooth. It is also the winner of the Consumer Electronics category of the 2014 Good Design Awards.

Designed in the US, the breathalyzer quickly and easily estimates blood alcohol content (BAC) using a highly accurate, law enforcement-grade Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor. Readings are communicated to iOS or Android smart devices via a free app, which informs users of their BAC and provides safety information. The app also estimates time needed for the BAC to reach 0.00 per cent.

The app may be free to download but the breathalyzer can be bought online in Australia for RRP $249.

Suzie Barrett, Product Development Manager at AlcoLimit Breathalyzers said she was “overjoyed” and receiving the award “was a really lovely surprise” in such a competitive category.

Journalist and MC for the 2014 Good Design Awards, Geraldine Doogue quizzed Barrett on the reliability of the device.

“The product uses a fuel cell sensor which is the same technology that the police breathalyzers use and we’ve been working with that technology for about 13 years now and so we have been able to refine it and get the price down for the general consumer as well,” Barrett said.

Barrett said that the breathalyzers were quite basic in 2001 but have since evolved into a more advanced devices.

“In addition, we have just recently had the Australian standards approval for the device so that means the accuracy is quality tested too.”

The BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer has the Australian Standard AS3547 approval for accuracy, meaning it is a consumer product that is the same standard of breathalyzers used in workplaces.

So, who is buying it?  Who is it marketed to?

“Every Australian who drinks,” Barrett said.

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Commenting on the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer, the Good Design judges said:

This is a clever little piece of technology that works well. Accuracy, functionality and user interface considerations are paramount in a product such as this and the designers have delivered on all fronts. The product works seamlessly across a Bluetooth interface and is very intuiative to use. This technology offers users an important service that will have a positive impact on reducing the numver of drink driving incidents on our roads.

Last year’s overall winner Blackmagic picked up a Good Design Award for the Pocket Cinema Camera.

Other Good Design Award winners in the Consumer Electronics category included a Braun Series 9 Shaver and audio specialists Røde picked up two Good Design Awards. All the winners in the category are listed below.

The category winners went into the running to be named the overall winner of the Good Design of the Year, which was won by Caroma Marc Newson Bathroom Collection, which was included in the Hardware and Building division.  This 22-piece bathroom set includes toilets, tapware, showers and a bath. Marc Newson, who has worked with Smeg in the past, also won the award in 2009 for his Qantas A380 Economy Class seat.

2014 Good Design Award Best in Category, Consumer Electronics
BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer

2014 Good Design Award for Consumer Electronics
Backbone charging device – Dog & Bone, Design + Industry
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera – Blackmagic Design
BlueAnt PUMP HD Sportbuds (waterproof headphones) – BlueAnt Wireless, Design & Industry, Foxlink
Braun Series 9 Shaver –  P&G Manufacturing GmbH
Dropcam Pro (Wi-Fi video camera for monitoring home or business) – Whipsaw, Inc.
Emergence AS4 speaker system-  Acoustic3D Holdings Ltd, Infinity Design Pty Ltd
Gripster Wrap iPad case – Native Union
harman/kardon Sabre SB 35 home entertainment system – harman/kardon
Jays a-JAYS Five Headphones – JAYS
JUMP charging cable for smartphone – Native Union
Kaleidescape Cinema One home cinema server – Whipsaw, Inc.
Leap Motion Controller (for gesture control with computers) –  Leap Motion Blonde Robot
Outdoor Technology Buckshot (portable, pocket-sized wireless speaker) – Outdoor Technology Blonde Robot
Røde iXY stereo microphone – Røde Microphones
Røde SVMX Video Mic – Røde Microphones
Soen Transit portable speakers – Soen Blonde Robot