Shark Tank Big Winner Saves Lives

Smart mobility changed everything, but it was advancements in wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® Smart that truly freed the genie from the bottle. As a result of these and other emerging connectivity technologies, the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market is driving significant growth and opportunities in a variety of end market segments and creating an entirely new breed of connected devices.

The very diversity of IoT applications is staggering, ranging from smart consumer products to wearable devices that monitor health and behavior. Estimated as a global market opportunity valued in billions of dollars, the IoT looms as possibly the most disruptive shift in technology since the creation of the Internet itself.

According to ABI Research, the IoT offers a unique advantage that will spawn an entirely new generation of innovators [1]. Providing developers with immediate access to standardized, ultra-low-power wireless development platforms will be instrumental in the proliferation of the rapidly expanding IoT market.

Unlike computers, laptops, and smartphones, which are designed by multinational corporations with teams of hundreds of engineers assigned to each product, IoT devices are dramatically simpler and can therefore be designed by a handful of bright, young engineers. Today, there are relatively few barriers to market entry for IoT consumer products, enabling a new breed of inspired entrepreneurs. Analysts have predicted that 2014 would be a pivotal year of significant growth for IoT devices, a boom made possible by offering innovators of all sizes – from the consumer electronic giants to the garage-based inventor – with a simplified approach to design new products and bring them to market.

One such example is the Breathometer™ Personal Breathalyzer, an innovative consumer device featured on Shark Tank. This product won big, earning a total of $1 million in support from all five Sharks. Touted as the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer, Breathometer is affordable and easy to use. Leveraging the same technology used by law enforcement, Breathometer is an FDA registered device that has undergone rigorous government lab grade testing to ensure its accuracy of ±.01% blood alcohol content (BAC).

Smart mobility changed everything, but it was advancements in wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® Smart that truly freed the genie from the bottle. As a result of these and other emerging connectivity technologies, the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market is driving significant growth and opportunities in a variety of end market segments and creating an entirely new breed of connected devices.

Since its debut on Shark Tank [2], Breathometer has enhanced its original product and the associated app, which now features integration with Uber™, local restaurants and hotels. The Breathometer Breeze™ features a next generation electro-chemical fuel cell sensor and an updated mobile app for iOS and Android that connects to the Breeze via Bluetooth® Smart to read the user’s BAC level.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one out of every three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime. A simple Bluetooth connection with the Breathometer Breeze and a smartphone, users blow gently into the device for five seconds. Breathometer’s embedded sensor provides an accurate measurement of the BAC and communicates the reading to the smartphone screen via a free, downloadable app. Breathometer works with most iOS devices and select Android devices, allowing a large majority of consumers to accurately assess their ability to safely operate a vehicle.

With hundreds of new ideas for applications and devices for the Internet of Things being hatched daily, it is critical that developers can quickly test their concepts and bring them to market ahead of the competition. So how did Breathometer do it?

The company reached out to Avnet to leverage Broadcom’s WICED™ line of development platforms in its newly designed Breathometer Breeze product. The WICED Smart development platform helped Breathometer create its product with a number of must-haves, including an easy to use product development process, fast time to market and low power consumption. Breathometer leveraged the inherent low-power features of WICED to sip battery power sparingly, allowing up to 16 months of daily use with a single lithium 3032 coin cell battery.

The goal of the WICED line of development platforms is to provide a fully interoperable, sensor-agnostic, open platform with standard software protocols. WICED combines these ingredients with an ultra-low-cost, ultra-low-power system-on-chip (SoC) with built-in connectivity and enough processing capability to efficiently process a large amount of sensor data.

Without a doubt, the availability of single chip devices and complete development platforms allow virtually anyone with an innovative idea and an entrepreneurial spirit – whether it be an individual, or a large or small company – to get in on the ground floor of the rapidly evolving IoT market space and contribute to its ecosystem. Wherever that innovative spark originates, one thing is clear: when it comes to the IoT, it’s a wide open frontier.

Together, Breathometer, Broadcom and Avnet hope to lessen the odds and ultimately improve highway safety and consumer awareness.​

Originally published in Avnet's AXIOM publication.

Written By: Brian Bedrosian

Senior Director (WC), Broadcom
 

RELATED ARTICLES

Does Your IoT strategy have a connection problem?

You’ve heard it everywhere: IoT is a game-changer, a disrupter and a gigantic business opportunity f...

Customization comes with a competitive edge—and security challenge

We talked about this before: there’s no one-size-fits-all IoT solution because every industry, verti...

Alternative Solutions For Powering IoT Devices

In this article, we look at why edge devices need power, and the options for reducing this need to a...