FTC Says This Smartphone Breathalyzer Is Actually a Bunch of Bullshit

Image: Amazon
Image: Amazon

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) slammed Breathometer on Monday for making false claims about the accuracy of its breathalyzer products, the Original and the Breeze.

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Following a probe from last year, the FTC and Breathometer have reached a settlement today that bars the company from making future accuracy claims about its breathalyzer products. The company has also been ordered to disable the apps that connect to the breathalyzers and must notify customers and offer full refunds to anyone who bought the devices. (The refund claims will soon be available online at www.breathometer.com.)

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The breathalyzer smartphone accessories first gained fame after appearing on ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, where creator Michael Yim received $1 million though deals from five of the show’s investors. The company raised another $138,000 through an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign.

Sales of both devices reached $5.1 million according to the FTC compliant. The products were sold at places like Amazon, Best Buy, and Brookstone.

Technology editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

I’ll admit, I bought one, and its measurements were so wildly unpredictable I just gave up on using it except for entertainment purposes. I wouldn’t trust it to determine if I was anywhere near safe to drive if there was any question at all.

The best part was a few months ago the company emailed owners to TELL us the devices were inaccurate, and if we were within warranty period, we MIGHT be eligible for a PARTIAL refund.