CES 2015: Floome is an excellent smartphone breathalyser with some worrying features

“Never drink and drive” has been drummed into us all so many times that it’s quite incredible to think that over 50,000 people a year in the UK still do. We had a hands-on demo of Floome at CES 2015, a small, discreet breathalyser that plugs right into your phone to tell you if it’s safe to get behind the wheel.

Invented in Italy, Floome uses a combination of your physical characteristics (sex, age, weight and so on), a flow meter and the same fuel cell sensors used in pro-level breathalysers to determine your blood alcohol content. You just plug Floome into your mobile’s headphone socket and blow into it. The app works with iOS, Android and Windows Phone.



We’re less keen on Floome’s ability to share your blood alcohol content, even going so far as to let you overlay it on a selfie that you’re then encouraged to share on social media. This is supposed to help you call for assistance if you need to get home, but we think it could easily start a dangerous game amongst young people to see who could get the highest ‘score’, as we saw with the fatal #neknomination trend. Worse, Floome also allows you to share your blood alcohol content with a map location (again, so you can get picked up) – is it really wise for young women to tell the internet “I’m really drunk, here’s exactly where I am”?

Nonetheless, Floome’s smart design and ease of use make it an excellent gadget to keep in your glovebox to stay safe. We had a go on the CES show floor, blowing a 0 initially and then 0.54 after a liqueur chocolate. The app tells you how long you need to wait before you’ll be under the legal limit, and reminds you to take another test at that time. Without the social features, this is a really useful product.

Floome is coming soon to the US and Italy, and we’re told UK customers will be able to have one shipped from the website.


Holly Brockwell