GREAT NEWS for people who like to have a drink but can't tell when they've had enough. Scientists have invented a smart tattoo that will tell you when you get too far under the surface and really ought not to drive, text ex-girlfriends or have that extra hot chilli sauce on your kebab.
The wonders of science never cease to amaze. One minute they're trying to make Higgs mate with Bosons, the next they're making stamps for people who can't count empty glasses and don't notice when walking takes on a bit of a wobble.
Fortunately this is the age of the smartphone, if not the smart drinker, and of the wearable device.
A news post by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) said that engineers funded by the organisation have created a handy tag that sits on the skin and measures the amount of alcohol in the body. This information is then sent to a smartphone.
Assuming that the wearer can see straight enough to read the smartphone screen they will get an indication of how pissed they are and whether it's time to call it a night.
"Measuring alcohol in sweat has been attempted before, but those technologies took two to three hours to measure alcohol levels," said Patrick Mercier of University of California, San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering and co-senior author between pork scratchings.
"Our patch sends alcohol levels to your smartphone in just eight minutes, making real-time alcohol monitoring possible, practical and personal.
The scientists suggested that the discreteness of the device should encourage its use and help drinkers to better monitor their intake and not make drunken asses of themselves.
They have clearly never been drinking with anyone from the UK, where points will probably come to mean social group prizes.
Back to the science, and Seila Selimovic, director of the NIBIB Programme in Tissue Chips, made it sound less like a tattoo and more like something that just tells you how much you've had to drink.
Most of us have one of those in our lives already, and other companies, including Twitter, are also keeping an eye on your intake.
"It resembles a temporary tattoo, but is actually a biosensor patch embedded with several flexible wireless components. One component releases a chemical that stimulates perspiration on the skin below the patch," she said.
"Another component senses changes in the electrical current flowing through the generated sweat, which measures alcohol levels and sends them to the user's cell phone." µ
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