TV shows always have the bartender or someone’s friend telling a person that he’s had to much to drink, whereupon his car keys are confiscated. In real life things are not so simple. But what IS simple is to take personal responsibility based not on how you feel when you’ve had a few, but on a device that can point to how much alcohol is circulating in your system and give you a better than rough idea when the person could be impaired and should not be driving. That’s where the FLOOME Smartphone Breathalyzer comes into play.
The FLOOME isn’t driven by a battery, so the need to worry about last minute charging is not valid. Nor is there concern for it snagging inside a pocket or tearing a hole in some fabric — the rubber-like outer shell provides a comfortable grip that is also firm to the touch, but yet somewhat yielding. Maybe it’s the Italian design?
FLOOME doesn’t function with disposable filters or mouthpieces — granted that might sound a bit less than sanitary, but it’s not much of a stretch to remove the mouthpiece (which rotates out from a recessed position for use) in order to clean it with some mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Not a big deal. Plus it comes with a spare to use while the other is drying off.
With the FLOOME now ready to rumble, the main thing to keep in mind is that you need to have a smartphone handy, since the free app works in concert with the device. So you blow into the mouthpiece and then the app provides the data (yep, simplifying the process which actually takes a bit of a learning curve to do correctly).
The app (iOS/Android/Windows and with the appropriate smartphone) provides a “guesstimate” of your blood alcohol level, based on the info you provide it about yourself — all this revolves around the effect of the air that’s being pumped into the FLOOME and going through an internal sensor. The app “guides” your through the use — if you’re in a too noisy environment you need to find a quieter one as it first calibrates based on your blowing in and the microphone input also being used (for some reason). Once this is processed in the app, the FLOOME can then do its job and give you an estimate of what the alcohol inside you is doing.
So here’s the quick skinny — wait about 20 minutes before using it to be effective, plug the FLOOME into the phone, launch the app and do what it says (i.e., blow!). Then it’s a quick pull off from the phone, angled return of the mouthpiece into its recessed area for being put away as discreetly as it was pulled out (you can always tell someone it was a zippo lighter but then you’ve the cigarette ban to explain away). Best way to use it in a crowd is to make it a party game (no, not a drinking game as that kind of negates what it’s all about).
No device can be 100% accurate, but the FLOOME only purports to provide a realistic “guesstimate” range to show a person that it’s not safe to drive. And that’s what a person needs — a second opinion that isn’t based on how the person “feels” but on cold facts. While the FLOOME can’t take the place of a good buddy clamping down on someone trying to get up off a bar stool, what it CAN do is provide some guidance as to the state of affairs re: the alcohol that’s been consumed. AND help you get a taxi or call a friend or tell you where you can walk to for some food that will help you get back to your “normal” self. For those who have taken the time to pull out and use the FLOOME on themselves or someone else, it can be a very positive experience, if not a life-saving one.