New Cell Phone Can Tell If You're Drunk
Already a Hit in Korea, LG Releases Cell Phone With Built-in Breathalyzer
By KEITH GARVIN
June 27, 2006
They were originally designed to simply make phone calls without tying callers to one location. But today's cell phones can do so much more, from snapping digital photos to sending text messages to playing video.
You can add one more feature to the list: a sobriety test.
That's right, cell phones with built-in Breathalyzers are set to hit the U.S. market. So after a night of too much to drink, you can pull out the device to see if you're fit to get behind the wheel.
South Korean manufacturer LG will introduce the LP4100 to the U.S. market sometime in the near future -- though no date is set. The company placed several models on the market in that country last year and already has sold more than 200,000 units.
The phones were previewed at the annual Consumer Electronics Show -- CES -- in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Here's how it works: Users blow into a small spot on the phone, and if they've had too much to drink the phone issues a warning and shows a weaving car hitting traffic cones.
"So they test it and it says don't drive so they leave their car or call the taxi," explained Sung Mee Cho of Seju Engineering Inc.
The company also sells plug-in Breathalyzer adapters for some phones. None of the models tell you exactly how much you may be over or under the legal limit, but it can keep you from making other alcohol-related mistakes.
The LP4100 also allows users to set up the phone so on certain nights and after a certain time they do not call certain people in their phone book. Think ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.
If you have a blood alcohol level over .08, the phone will not let you dial that person. So it not only promotes sobriety, but chastity -- and probably your dignity, as well.
A useful enhancement would prevent anyone who is using a cellphone and who is over the limit from driving any vehicle. Perhaps those OB111 (whatever) computers in cars that spy on everything else can be interfaced with cellphones.
In light of the increasing instance of improper photography cases involving cell phones, wouldn't it be beneficial if, upon blowing above the pre-set limit, the camera feature on the phone was disabled?
How about a feature if you blow over the legal limit it automatically dials 911 with a recorded message of your name, telephone number, and a statement that says this person is intoxicated above the legal limit. Then add a satellite feature that would give the 911 operator a location.
Well, then no one would blow, or more likely, no one would buy the phone to begin with.
I had a case of harassment one time where the defendant kept calling the victim (his ex-wife) slurring his words and soliciting sex and other devious acts.
Of course, she recorded his calls and we all had a good laugh at his expense.
How many would blow anyway? I would guess that most drivers who drive drunk are either too drunk to realize they are drunk or simply DON'T CARE because it is too much of an inconvenience to call for a ride. I am not sure many would use the feature. Maybe an automatic dial to a cab company then, but would they wait?
I think PK is right, most don't care. I suspect they might sell more phones if they installed a bottle opener on the cell phone.
Think of the sales, if the cell phone had not only a bottle opener, but a condom dispenser!
Heck, Trey, some people might not ever leave their houses if they had one of those gadgets!
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