Party poop on friends remotely with BACtrack's latest innovation

BACtrack Mobile breathalyzer is adding a new feature so you can demand someone conduct a breath test remotely. It can even make sure they don't get someone else to do it.

Seamus Byrne Editor, Australia & Asia
Seamus Byrne is CNET's Editor for Australia and Asia. At other times he'll be found messing with apps, watching TV, building LEGO, and rolling dice. Preferably all at the same time.
Seamus Byrne
2 min read
Watch this: BACtrack View lets you breath test your friends remotely

Whether you're trying to be a careful drinker or you're trying to set a new record at a frat party, having an app-enabled breathalyzer in your bag of tricks can be a solid smartphone accessory.

We reviewed the BACtrack Mobile smartphone breathalyzer back in 2013 and it has since seen some significant upgrades. The hardware is the same 'police-grade accuracy' hardware, but the app has been upgraded and polished, it now runs across Android and iOS and the price has dropped to $99 (local distributors sell BACtrack Mobile for AU$249 and £80).

BACtrack breathalyzer breath test

Running a breath test after receiving a request through BACtrack View.

Sarah Tew/CNET

For those not in the know, BACtrack's device works via Bluetooth and not only tests your current blood alcohol reading, but also estimates when you will get back to a zero level. It also now supports Apple Watch, so Apple users can run a test and track their progress back to zero all without getting out their phone.

But the biggest update to BACtrack is a new remote testing feature called BACtrack View. The feature runs in its own separate app and lets you send a friend a request to do a breath test and you will be sent the result. Test requests can be sent manually at any time, and the recipient has 15 minutes to respond with a test result or be given a big red 'MISSED' verdict. But tests can also be setup on a regular schedule, or even set to be requested randomly between set periods of the day or week.

Bluetooth gadget showcase from CES 2016 (pictures)

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At the CES Digital Experience event, BACtrack founder Shawn Casey says being able to ask a friend to do a breath test remotely has been a big request from users, whether parents or employers, so it made sense to add the feature.

Being the stealthy customer you are, you might think being in a remote location makes it easy to just get a buddy to do the test for you so you keep your clean image intact. But BACtrack has that angle covered by including image capture of the person performing the test.

Convincing friends to send you a test result remotely might not be the perfect path to preventing drunken foolishness, but a trusted friend getting a virtual tap on the shoulder might be just what they need to be a little more careful.

We will update our 2013 review soon with new testing based around all the latest features found in BACtrack Mobile with the addition of BACtrack View.

Check out all our coverage of CES 2016 here.