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Smartphone Screen Integrated Optical Breathalyzer

Centre d’Optique, Photonique et Laser (COPL), 2375 Rue de la Terrasse, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Groupe de Recherche Indépendant en Science des Données et des Décisions (GRISDD), 633 Ave. Des Oblats, Québec, QC G1N 1W1, Canada
Polytechnique Montreal, C.P. 6079, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3A7, Canada
Corning Incorporated, SP-AR-02-5, Corning, NY 14831, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefan Stieger
Sensors 2021, 21(12), 4076;
Received: 28 April 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 9 June 2021 / Published: 13 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Wearables)
One third of fatal car accidents and so many tragedies are due to alcohol abuse. These sad numbers could be mitigated if everyone had access to a breathalyzer anytime and anywhere. Having a breathalyzer built into a phone or wearable technology could be the way to get around reluctance to carry a separate device. With this goal, we propose an inexpensive breathalyzer that could be integrated in the screens of mobile devices. Our technology is based on the evaporation rate of the fog produced by the breath on the phone screen, which increases with increasing breath alcohol content. The device simply uses a photodiode placed on the side of the screen to measure the signature of the scattered light intensity from the phone display that is guided through the stress layer of the Gorilla glass screen. A part of the display light is coupled to the stress layer via the evanescent field induced at the edge of the breath microdroplets. We demonstrate that the intensity signature measured at the detector can be linked to blood alcohol content. We fabricated a prototype in a smartphone case powered by the phone’s battery, controlled by an application installed on the smartphone, and tested it in real-world environments. Limitations and future work toward a fully operational device are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: breathalyzer; wearable; sensors; breath analysis device; health; mobile screen; alcohol; ethanol; smartphone; multimedia screen breathalyzer; wearable; sensors; breath analysis device; health; mobile screen; alcohol; ethanol; smartphone; multimedia screen
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lapointe, J.; Bécotte-Boutin, H.-S.; Gagnon, S.; Levasseur, S.; Labranche, P.; D’Auteuil, M.; Abdellatif, M.; Li, M.-J.; Vallée, R. Smartphone Screen Integrated Optical Breathalyzer. Sensors 2021, 21, 4076.

AMA Style

Lapointe J, Bécotte-Boutin H-S, Gagnon S, Levasseur S, Labranche P, D’Auteuil M, Abdellatif M, Li M-J, Vallée R. Smartphone Screen Integrated Optical Breathalyzer. Sensors. 2021; 21(12):4076.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lapointe, Jerome, Hélène-Sarah Bécotte-Boutin, Stéphane Gagnon, Simon Levasseur, Philippe Labranche, Marc D’Auteuil, Manel Abdellatif, Ming-Jun Li, and Réal Vallée. 2021. "Smartphone Screen Integrated Optical Breathalyzer" Sensors 21, no. 12: 4076.

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