Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unintended Consequences?

I think that the "iBreath" iPod breathalyzer attachment is a good idea...anything that gives people more information (which can in turn lead to more informed decisions) seems like a good thing, especially when it gives people more control over their own bodies.

I wonder, though, if having such information may lead to a perverse competition among revelers to see who can achieve the greatest Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) the fastest. The selling point of the product seems to be that it can help you know when it's safe (from a legal standpoint, at least) to drive. But I wonder if it also contains warnings for when ones BAC is nearing that of alcohol poisoning. And then I also wonder whether such warnings would be effective or might they merely be a sign of accomplishment ("Last night I was so wasted I got the alcohol poisoning warning!").

In any case, the potential for intentional misuse is probably pretty small, and is most likely outweighed by the benefits of the product, so it's obviously a net good thing.

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