By @SimonCocking, we’re getting more and more requests to be featured in the Thursday Business Showcase. So we decided, rather than wait until June to read about some of the great new businesses, we will run some on a Wednesday too. Keep sending them in, and we will try to feature as many as possible. Here is a great piece on another exciting new Irish company, Breathalyzer.

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We caught up with John Crean @blowmeireland, founder of an interesting new Irish company, New Age Vending 

Describe the company, the elevator pitch

While in America travelling a few years ago, I noticed breathalyser machines in bars. I used them for a bit of fun with the guys I was with and found them really interesting. So I said I would have a look into them when I get home and why Ireland of all places, has never heard of them. And so New Age Vending began.

Ireland has a strong drinking culture, yet does every person know their own body’s capabilities on how they handle alcohol? Everybody s different, from a 6.6ft tall rugby player to an average skinny person, how would they differ with a pint of beer? Or Glass of wine? Now people would be able to educate themselves without having to blow into a Garda roadside breathalyser.

New Age Vending is a new vending machine company that only deals with and sources the most unique vending machines for the bar and nightclub markets.

Our current product is a  wall mounted Boozelator® breathalyser machine that a customer can insert €2, a disposable straw becomes available and they insert it into the hole, instructions pop up on the 10’ Lcd screen and after they blow, results show up on screen, in different warnings, applicable to the Blood Alcohol Level %. A warning comes on screen informing the user that they should never drink and drive, and to order a taxi home.

We remain the owners of the machines and we share a margin of profit with the bar owner. We prefer to remain the owners of the machines rather than sell them, due to the sensitive nature of the product. The machines need to be regularly calibrated with special equipment (every 600 blows) and if one bar owner never calibrated the machine and gave wrong results, it would damage the reputation of every other machine. We pride ourselves in keeping every machine fine tuned and as accurate as any garda roadside testers. Our machines are accurate to 0.0005% result due to its Platinum Fuel Cell sensor, the same technology used by the police and other law enforcements.

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How are you different?

We are different in a way that this is totally new to Ireland, some may say its controversial, that having a breathalyser in a bar gives people an excuse to have a drink and drive home, but that is not the aim we have.

We want to give people a choice. People should never ever drink and drive, but unfortunately, there will always be people that do. A success for us would be if you imagine a regular ‘after work Friday drink’ person that would usually get into their car after. What if they used our machine in the bar, seen how much over the limit they were and made a decision to either stay longer and wait for a lift, or order a taxi on the spot? This is why we are different. Our vending machines aim to entertain and educate on serious matters. Not like the average machines found in toilets!

Why will the product do well?

There is a huge need for education in alcohol matters, and this is a fun way of showing people how drunk they are on a night out, or after the wine at dinner. Peoples curiosity is what makes this product a success. People would love to know how their body handles the alcohol compared to they’re friends too. I hope there will always be a need for this product in any venue that serves alcohol.

Where are you based, how is the broadband?

We’re based in Trim, Co. Meath. About 40 mins drive from Dublin City. Broadband is standard, but no issues. We have still yet to get the good stuff!

When was the company launched?

We officially launched in August 2014, but I’ve had a machine on trial in a local bar for 1 year before that to see what the public thought of it and also to wean out any problems that could have arisen. Once I got some great feedback and good usage, I purchased more machines, set up the company and installed in other venues.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

The biggest win for me is that the machines are being used! People are interested in the product, that gives me hope that it will be successful.

I have not done any research as of yet to see what purpose the machine is mostly used for, but if it has changed a few minds about getting behind a wheel then that’s also a win.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

I’m aiming to place the machines in a broad range of markets. Basically this machine suits any establishment that serves alcohol, and has a spare wall! Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The machines are also for rent for weddings and parties.

The machines have also been popular with chauffeur companies and couriers, with owners wanting to know their drivers are not drunk.

Tell us about your team?

I’m currently a team of one, but once I have more machines placed, I hope to have a number of service and installation routes in which I can take on an employee.

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What are you long term plans for your product / company?

A dream come through would be to have a machine in every bar in Ireland, because that’s what I believe is needed, there are 20,000 of these types of machines in America alone. In the state of Utah, a politician is proposing a law that every bar should have one installed. Maybe I should give Enda a call!

The future plans for the company would be to have a large range of unique machines, installed across Ireland, or maybe further.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

My phone is my bible. Cant do business without it, as the job I have isn’t really an office job, I’m always on the road, giving demonstrations on site in bars, calling an emailing, and of course for social media.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

When there are more machines installed across the land, I will be looking into making an App for the phones, with a GPS map, letting people locate any local bars with a breathalyser installed, giving them a choice of where to go if they needed to use one.

How can people contact you?

Best thing to do is to visit our website New Age Vending.  If people want to know more and keep up-to-date with our latest developments, they can link to our social media on facebook or twitter @blowmeireland .


If you would like to have your company featured in the Thursday edition of the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with me on [email protected]

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