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Shots iGot Helps College Students Moderate Their Drinking || News

Shots iGot is a new five star iPhone app created to reduce over-drinking. Paras Jain, Chief Operating Officer and one of the three creators, said that there is nothing like their app on the market right now.

The iPhone app was created by Jain, Josh Rosenheck who serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Mike Verderese who is the Chief Technology Officer. All three of the gentlemen are 22 years old and attended Rutgers University together.

The purpose of Shots iGot is to help college students portion how much alcohol they are pouring into a container without measuring the amount first. “Students never take the time to measure their drinks,” Jain said. “They habitually pour hard alcohol directly into a party cups, water bottles and other containers without actually knowing how much they are pouring.”

Jain explained that they got the idea for the iPhone app after reading an article that explained how package sizes are purposely adjusted for marketing reasons because the human brain has a hard time with geometry regarding gauging volume. “We realized the same concept applied when students pour drinks into different size containers,” Jain said. “One bad estimate can lead to over-pouring and some serious consequences.”

Suanne Schaad, substance awareness coordinator, said, “One of the main things I try to educate students on is blood alcohol content and the amount of alcohol consumed. When we don’t keep track of how many drinks we are drinking it is more difficult to know what to expect and students report the alcohol ‘hits’ them from nowhere.”

Their solution of over-pouring alcohol was Shots iGot. The app offers over 40 different bottle shapes and sizes. Once the user chooses the specific bottle he or she wants, the app goes to another page to reveal a touchable model of the bottle. The user then drags his or her finger to the level of the container that is filled with alcohol. The app measurements adjust to the shape of the bottles and produce a measurement of alcohol to 1/10 of a shot.

Shots iGot also features a camera option, where users can take a picture of their container which will then import the picture directly into the app. That picture can then be filled the same way as a container already featured as an option.

The app can also be used for mixed drinks. All the user has to do is turn on the “mixer” option and fill the container accordingly to how much of a mixer is being used.

“As college students, we saw the consequences of over-drinking firsthand and recognized the potential for a simple app to serve as a cool ‘harm reduction’ tool,” said Jain. He continued to say that college students love this app and are actually using it.

However, not all students feel the need to use the app. Jaclyn Franzi, junior education major said, “I feel like I would use my own shot glass or just eyeball it.” This is exactly what Jain, Rosenheck and Verderese are trying to prevent with Shots iGot.

Schaad explained that when she encountered students who overdrink alcohol, she finds herself trying to figure out how much alcohol the student poured into the water bottle and how many shots were actually in it. “Every year, we have a number of students who end up in the hospital for possible alcohol poisoning and it is often a result of drinking hard alcohol and not paying attention to how much,” she said.

The prototype for Shots iGot was created at the Princeton University Hackathon on Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, 2012. As a result of this competition, the app won first place for “most useful app,” second place for “best overall mobile app,” second place for “crowd favorite” and $2,000.

On Nov. 15, 2012, the gentlemen founded their company “Something With Flow.” Since then, they have partnered with other companies like Microsoft, the Thiel Foundation, Kairos Society, Princeton University professors and a collection of serial entrepreneurs. Jain said that they are not looking for other partnerships right now but they have received great mentorship from their current partners.

Two months after the Princeton University Hackathon, Jain said Rosenheck, Verderese and himself worked over 80 hours a week to refine the app. They then submitted it to the Apple Store around Jan. 12. After they got approval, Shots iGot was launched in the App Store around Jan. 22 and can be purchases for $1.99. Shots iGot Lite is a free preview of the app that can also be found at the App Store. “Since then we are now closing in on 20,000 plus downloads,” said Jain.

Schaad believes Shots iGot is a success but she suggests one addition she believes would be beneficial to the app. “I would love to see a calculation of blood alcohol content included which is personalized for each person’s sex and weight. The drink count, along with blood alcohol content, could really be a powerful tool for the responsible drinker,” she said.

Jain said that people have been really receptive of the app so far. His biggest surprise as a result of the app has been from different universities that have expressed their interest in promoting Shots iGot as a part of their “Safe Drinking” campaigns.

When asked about the future, Jain said that their plans are focused on continuing to grow.

For the full Huffington Post article written about Shots iGot click on the following link:

PHOTOS COURTESY of Jacklyn Kouefati

Pictures above are screenshots from Shots iGot. The first picture is the opening screen of the app while the other three pictures are containers filled with estimated amounts of alcohol and mixers. The numbers above each bottle represent how many shots of alcohol are in the bottle.