“Receiving the Cool Idea! Award has enabled us to move from the testing stage into production, which is a big hurdle for any new product,” says Penzo. Adds Larry Lukis, founder of Proto Labs, “FLOOME eliminates the predicament many find themselves in while out for a drink; it provides an accurate and at-the-ready means to determine when they are safely able to drive. Combined with its elegant design aesthetic and smartphone integration, this cool product should be a great success.”For more information about the Cool Idea! Award and how to apply visit www.protolabs.com/coolidea. About Proto LabsProto Labs (PRLB) is a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of low-volume CNC machined and injection molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. The company provides “Real Parts, Really Fast” to product developers worldwide and has two quick-turn services in North America, Europe and Japan: Firstcut ( www.firstcut.com) CNC machining and Protomold ( www.protomold.com) injection molding. Both are capable of providing parts in as fast as one business day. Product developers who use Proto Labs for prototypes and short-run production can upload a 3D CAD file at any one of Proto Labs online sites, get an interactive quotation and place an order for Proto Labs services directly online. For more information, visit: www.protolabs.com. About FLOOME FLOOME is the first product from 2045Tech S.r.l., an Italian start-up company that develops devices combining innovative technology with beautiful design. Founded by Fabio Penzo and Marco Barbetta in Italy, 2045Tech was launched in February 2013. For more information, visit www.2045tech.com.
FLOOME, a universal smartphone accessory that provides users with accurate and reliable blood-alcohol readings has joined the ranks of some of the most promising hardware innovations as a Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB) Cool Idea! Award recipient.
FLOOME is a universal smartphone accessory that provides users with accurate and reliable blood-alcohol readings. (Photo: Business Wire)Proto Labs launched the Cool Idea! Award in 2011, which gives a total of $250,000 each year to entrepreneurs developing new products in the United States and Europe. Unlike other product awards that recognize products after they’re in mass production and on store shelves, the Cool Idea! Award is meant to help cool ideas come to life. Proto Labs provided the FLOOME’s co-founders, Marco Barbetta and Fabio Penzo of Italian company 2045Tech, with tooling and a subsequent first production run of injection molded parts. “FLOOME is the first, reliable smartphone breathalyzer,” says Barbetta. By blowing into the device while it is connected to a smartphone audio jack, the users Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is measured. FLOOME employs a patent-pending technology that matches a vortex whistle with the fuel cell ethanol sensor that is widely used by law enforcement breathalyzers. The collected data is sent over audio frequencies to the corresponding app where the user can view their BAC, get an estimate of when they will reach the legal limit to drive based on their test results and body characteristics, set an alarm to take a new test, view a graph of previous results, or call a nearby taxi. For 2045Tech, the casing design for FLOOME was as important to its overall functionality as the technology inside it. “After many sketches and prototypes, we came up with a really unique, eye-catching shape; its smooth edges and lightness also make it easy to carry around,” says Barbetta.