TechViewNow.com speaks with Charles Michael Yim, Breathometer.com CEO - Part 1
When I first founded the company, arguably I started with a very just kind of basic, small idea and that was to create a Smartphone based breathalyzer. Basically it is the original. I could pull it out right here. Literally as you can see it is a dongle if you will. It is a connected device. It literally connects to your Smartphone through the audio jack 2.5 mm; does not draw power out of the audio jack. Actually supplies its own power, so it is self-sufficient.
Ultimately it is a alcohol screener. It is only $50 MSRP. We sell it both retail and online. Now we are expanded internationally.
The second product we just launched two weeks ago, exclusively with Best Buy is called Breeze. It is medical, law enforcement grade. Again, also FDA approved. It can measure into the triple zeros; technically in the parts per billion. We are using more advanced sensor technology so it is more advanced in semi-conductors which we were using with the original.
We are using electrochemical fuel cell in the Breeze. State of the art. We co-developed it with a few NASA scientists that have basically been in the biosensor business for over three decades.
We have basically built something extremely novel. The components that are typically used by law enforcement grade breathalyzers require pumps and essentially multiple mechanics to make it work. We have actually reinvented what is breath analysis technology. We really predicate a lot of our technology off of fluid dynamics. Basically, the way your actual air sample, your air flows. We have kind of mastered the physics and the engineering around it.
We also have taken more of an Apple-like Steve Jobs if you will approach to product development. That is what I am a big fan about. If you think about design from top down, design actually rules the orientation of product development. From there you can you incorporate product and functionality and ultimately performance within that model.
If you look at the Breeze, you can buy it at BestBuy.com. You can walk into any of the one thousand Best Buy stores in the United States. You can pick one up for just $99. You will see that it is the first wireless, yet wearable breathalyzer for alcohol particularly in the world.
It is portable. It is tiny. It connects wirelessly via Bluetooth BLE to your Smartphone and then soon to be your Smartwatch and particularly even your car. The whole idea is that we are essentially a mobile cloud-based platform that whereby we can measure any of the three hundred potential biomarkers off of your breath.
In terms of the two products that we have out in the markets, technically two alcohol products; but hereon we will be basically developing and building products that are completely unrelated to alcohol.
Soon to be everything ranging from something simple as breath analysis through kind of measuring breath quality or sulfide compounds to things as extreme as lung cancer. The consumer market is I would say unknown or unaware rather about what the capabilities of breath analysis can essentially be capable of and provide.
Similarly with blood or urine or even I would say transdermal or skin. Lastly even saliva. All those including breath are methods where you can detect biomarkers. Particularly for breath there is roughly three hundred. Within those three hundred biomarkers there is about twenty-five to thirty percent of those biomarkers that are usable. One of them being ethanol believe it or not if you do not know, your body actually can produce ethanol or alcohol at minute trace amounts.
When you are eating grad food, when you actually have that essentially digestive system kick in, it will develop yeast. From the yeast it can ferment and develop the alcohol. Even if it is trace amounts, it is still alcohol. Ethanol believe it or not is a biomarker, but so is sulfide in the ketones where you can measure things like fat burning and even extrapolate to blood glucose which is relevant for diabetes. You also have lung cancer, bacterial infection, COPD, asthma. The list goes on and on and on.
Just being transparent, when I first initially started the Breathometer I was really enthused about the technology stack we could build. It kind of started within a smaller market. Now that we realize the capabilities of what breath can do, obviously now we are really kind of focused on really changing and revolutionizing digital health. We have backers from Stanford University. We have Mark Cuban as an early investor.
We are raising a close to a $20 million Series A, which we should be closing in the next four weeks. Soon to be we will confidently and humbly speaking dominate the digital health realm and it is all through your breath. We refer to it as a coin phrase as the “breath print.” Similar to a human’s finger print.