April 17th, 2018

Overnight Invention: Device Saving 2.5 Million Lives per Year

That night, while riding my motorcycle with my college mates to the lonely lake few miles away from my home. BANG! I accidentally invented ‘Distant Alcohol Detector’ which could detect drunk drivers while hanging on traffic poles from the distance of 100 meters.

I, being a fun loving guy and with stay curious attitude, I wanted to try how it feels to be under the influence of alcohol. I asked my best pal, who is a party guy in our group, that I want to try alcohol once.

He never says no to the party and we had an awesome party that night. That was my first time in my life feeling how it feels to be high.

It was the time to turn on alcohol-induced adventure mode. Tadaa, we were on our motorcycles on the way to the lake which is 40 Km away from my home.

When I feel adventurous on motorcycle :P

I was enjoying the drive till a car with high beam headlights crossed in front of me. Everything became glassy, all I can see was the light scattering from the car’s headlights, it felt like heavens opening the door.

Curious me started to think why the light is scattering at the wider angle while I was on alcohol but it is not the same when I was sober. I keep on thinking what might be the reason till we reached the lake. Then I realized, the scattering was not from the car’s headlights but it was scattering of light at my eyeballs. EUREKAAA!!!

Next day morning when I woke up sober, the first thing I did was an intensive research on concepts of light scattering, diffraction, diffusion, total internal reflection etc… Combining theories, previous night experience and everything nice, I invented the device from the next century, its The ‘Distant Alcohol Detector’

Alert! Geek stuff! The phenomenon which helped me for this invention was that whenever blood mixes with other solution like alcohol, its refractive index varies due to which it starts to scatter the light more than in the absence of alcohol. That’s the reason why you feel glassy eyes when you are high on alcohol.

I used this phenomenon and built a quick prototype which consisted of a simple camera, infrared light generator of the specific wavelength(not visible to the bare eyes but could be seen through the camera) and image processor. Whenever the camera detects a vehicle, infrared light generator emits the IR rays towards the driver. If the driver is drunk, IR rays will be scattered at a higher rate from the driver’s eye which is directly proportional to the concentration of alcohol, which is then sensed by the camera and image processors and report would be sent out to the authorities along with vehicle details and alcohol percentage to which driver is influenced.

Infrared light from TV remote could only be seen through camera

That essentially the ‘Distant Alcohol Detector’, which could detect drunk drivers from far away distance.

Which started that night as a fun, ended up as an invention for the future. I thought of making this as a startup while I was in college but to build a hardware company it is always expensive and I couldn’t afford it. So I gave all the research data to my professors to publish it.

Future with Distant Alcohol Detector

You drive drunk across a traffic signal which had the device installed, your next stop would be in jail.

Everyone will reach home safer to make their small waiting for daddy daughter smile.

I am currently running my software startup and I dream of building this product once I make enough money to develop it.