Instead of the celebratory vibration from your Fitbit when you reach 10,000 steps, Skyn users are chasing a different kind of buzz. Skyn is the latest innovation from BACtrack, the “leader in personal and professional breathalyzers.” Worn on the wrist, it is able to estimate a user’s blood alcohol content from their sweat.

How It Works


Photo courtesy of BACtrack

Skyn actually tracks the ethanol molecules that escape through your skin as you process alcohol. The device can then send the results via Bluetooth to your smartphone. Of course, the device can’t calculate your BAC immediately post-margarita. Alcohol takes around 45 minutes to be transmitted through the skin. But Skyn is still a major breakthrough in BAC monitoring.

Data-obsessed drinkers will have to wait to be able to measure the results of their happy hours. The device is only a prototype. BACtrack developed it in response to the “Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge” set by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The Challenge


Photo courtesy of BACtrack

The NIAAA started the challenge in March 2015. The challenge was to create a “discreet, non-evasive wearable device capable of measuring blood alcohol levels in near real-time.” The goal was “to improve upon existing alcohol biosensor technology used in the criminal justice system and create an alternative for the alcohol research community” according to a BACtrack press release. The innovative Skyn claimed the $200,000 first prize.

The Future of Skyn

BACtrack has big hopes for their award-winning device. Doctors wouldn’t have to rely on inaccurate self-reporting to get a patient’s alcohol history. For sobriety monitoring, an alert could be sent to a family member when a user’s BAC goes over 0.0%.

Skyn could also be programmed to deliver a warning when a user’s BAC level is growing higher so that the user knows they may need to slow down. If users are more aware of their BAC levels, hopefully they can make safer choices.

According to BACtrack, Skyn will be available in limited quantities starting this October. You can put your name on a waitlist right now. Maybe in a year, Skyns will be as common at the bar as Fitbits at the gym.