Big Brother is watching you drink.
Hitachi is moving closer to having a functioning breathalyzer system that not only checks your breath, but looks you in the eye to make sure you are who you claim to be. Or rather, it looks at your entire face to determine your identity. It works in conjunction with a portable breathalyzer unit developed last March by Hitachi, and functions via smartphone.
The setup is still in a prototype phase. Hitachi has been working to increase the reliability of the system while also reducing its size. Continual development on the application software is also ongoing, but Hitachi hopes to have more widespread use of the breath/recognition device starting in August, with the ultimate goal of commercializing the system in the hopes of reducing alcohol-related accidents.
There’s just one problem – this doesn’t prevent anyone from actually driving a car.
In its current form, the alcohol detection device simply monitors subjects and visually confirms the identity of the user taking the breath test. That data is then simply sent to whichever overlord is watching. Presumably, this device is focused more on the corporate environment – making sure employees aren’t sampling a bit of Johnnie Walker on the clock. It can also be used to monitor employees using company cars to ensure they aren’t sauced up behind the wheel after a business dinner. Should a breath test come back positive, or a facial recognition not match for any reason, a notificaion is sent and punishment is dealt out accordingly.
While there’s no mention of moving this device to car-based breathalyzer systems already in use, it’s certainly in the realm of possibilities. Personally, we’re all for anything that keeps drunk people out of a car, but still, having devices on phones that recognize people and force them to make random breath checks for work is a little too big brother for us. How do you feel about this technology?