A major electronics manufacturer unveiled a new breathalyzer that blows those devices that have only the old blood-alcohol measuring function out of the water.

Toshiba unveiled a device that can analyze compounds in a person’s breath, providing details that could help diagnosis diseases or lead to diet and exercise advise.

Image source: Toshiba

Image source: Toshiba

Right now the analyzer can detect indicators of obesity and diabetes, smoking and alcohol consumption, of course. In the future, researchers hope it will have the ability to pick up on possible intestinal bacteria (which could indicate a positive or negative intestinal environment), asthma conditions and helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that is liked with ulcers and stomach cancers.

“We see great potential for the breath analyzer, from the health enhancement of exercise regimes and nutritional supplements through to diagnostics,” Naoko Toyoshima, a chief specialist in Toshiba’s corporate New Business Development Division, said. “We will promote more collaboration with universities and hospitals in order to build a knowledge base for breath analysis and to support wide ranging and practical application.”

The person using it exhales into the device that has an infrared laser that picks up on certain gases, measuring them on the absorption spectrum.

The company brought on Waseda University in Japan to conduct clinical measurements of various compounds that could be associated with certain condition. This analysis will next month and the company hopes to have the device in production by 2015.

(H/T: Gizmodo)