We all know most of us aren’t the best judges of whether or not we’ve had too much to drink, but now a new study suggests our smartphones may actually be able to clue us in. A study in the “Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs” finds that smartphones may be able to detect when someone has had too much to drink by noticing changes in a person’s walk or gait.
The study, conducted by Brian Suffoletto, M.D., with Stanford University School of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine, looked at 22 adults ages 21 to 43.
The subjects were given mixed drinks to bring their breath alcohol concentration to .20 percent, which was checked each hour for seven hours.
During that time, a smartphone was placed on each participants back, and each hour they were asked to walk a straight line for 10 steps, turn and walk back. Turns out the phones were correct 90% of the time, using changes in gait to identify participants with a BAC over the legal driving limit of .08 percent.
The study authors realize that since people don’t carry phones on their lower back the research may not really translate to real life, but they plan future research with people carrying their phones in their hands and pockets to try and prove it does.