Buffalo firm piloting breathalyzer kiosks

Oct. 20, 2011

Buffalo, N.Y., firm Ladybug Teknologies will host a party today to launch the SipSmart Network, a system of breathalyzer kiosks that enables bar patrons to stay safe by checking their level of intoxication before they drive, according to a media alert from the University of Buffalo.

The firm, whose U.S. headquarters is in the University at Buffalo Technology Incubator, also markets a handheld, personal breathalyzer, as well as a smartphone app that helps social drinkers keep track of their level of intoxication by logging, in real-time, each drink they consume.

Media are invited to attend the party, which will be held at at pub in nearby Tonawanda. The party will begin as a private event at 8 p.m. and open to the public at 11 p.m.

The event kicks off Ladybug Teknologies' effort to develop the kiosk system as the company's newest line of business in the United States and Canada. The goal: to prevent drunk driving by giving social drinkers access to information that can help them stay safe.

The SipSmart Network's main component is a thin, sleek kiosk that encapsulates a police-grade breathalyzer. The machine employs state-of-the-art platinum fuel cell technology to obtain accurate blood alcohol measurements, according to the release.

Patrons will pay $5 to use the kiosk three times over the course of the night, blowing into the breathalyzer through a reusable mouthpiece that they can purchase for 50 cents from a nearby dispenser that looks like a gumball machine.

While Friday is the official launch, the SipSmart Kiosk will stay at the Tonawanda pub at least through the holiday season.

Ladybug's pilot program for the SipSmart Network includes three machines — the one in Tonawanda; one in Hamilton, Ontario; and a third that will travel with Ladybug representatives to trade shows.

Ladybug, founded in Canada, expanded its operations into the U.S. market in 2010, opening an American headquarters at the UB Technology Incubator in Amherst. The incubator, run by UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (UB STOR), provides emerging businesses with the technical, business and financial assistance they need to become a force in Western New York's knowledge economy.

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Topics: Custom Kiosks , Hardware

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