Swedish alcohol monopoly launches ‘booze camera’ iPhone app

Drunken Swedes can now record their boozed-up antics with a new iPhone app launched on Monday by a subsidiary of the country's state-owned alcohol monopoly.

Swedish alcohol monopoly launches 'booze camera' iPhone app

The new app, Fyllekameran (‘booze-camera’), is the brainchild of IQ, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Systembolaget created in 2005 to find new ways to reduce alcohol consumption in Sweden.

Its creators hope that, in allowing users to “meet their drunken selves when sober” will give people pause.

“When you’re drunk, you perhaps view yourself in a different way than you would if you viewed yourself drunk when you were sober,” IQ CEO Magnus Jägerskog told The Local.

The Fyllekamera app consists of an alarm that users set before they head out for a night of revelry. When the alarm sounds, users are prompted to click ‘OK’, at which point their iPhone camera kicks into gear to record whatever shenanigans the user and his or her friends may engage in after having downed a few drinks.

“When the film is recorded, I’m sure it will be fun and hilarious,” said Jägerskog.

Twelve hours after recording is completed, however, another alarm sounds, giving users, who having since sobered up, a chance to relive their intoxicated antics through more sober eyes.

“We want to give people a picture of how they are when they are drunk and give people the chance to reflect,” said Jägerskog.

The app was developed based in part on the findings of a study carried out by IQ involving 510 people aged 18-35 which revealed that six of ten respondents believed their friends would be “negatively surprised” if they saw themselves drunk on film.

The study also found that 29 percent of respondents would be negatively surprised if they saw a film of themselves recorded when they were intoxicated.

According to Jägerskog, people aren’t always as pleasant to be around when they are drunk as they may believe, and many young adults – the target group for the Fyllekamera app, drink too much alcohol.

“The point is to help people develop a smarter view about alcohol so that people don’t drink too much or too often,” he said.

“Hopefully some people will have moved to reflect on their alcohol consumption and change their habits.”

On its first day of release, the app had already climbed to 34th place on the Swedish iTunes list of popular downloads, although Jägerskog stressed that IQ has no specific measure for success.

“We just want it to be spread as widely as possible,” he said, adding, however that the app is designed to block users from being able to upload their drunken videos to the internet or share them with friends.

“The point isn’t to spread the film on the web or on social media, but to force people to think again about their behaviour,” he said.

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Swedes warned: Vodka won’t protect you from the coronavirus

Sweden's state-run alcohol chain Systembolaget has advised customers not to buy its spirits as a substitute for hand sanitiser.

Swedes warned: Vodka won't protect you from the coronavirus
Stockholmers queuing outside Systembolaget before Easter. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

One of the best ways of avoiding the new coronavirus and prevent its spread is to wash your hands often with soap and water, according to the Swedish Public Healh Agency.

If you don't have access to soap or running water, hand sanitiser is the next best option, but the product has been flying off the shelves as shoppers try to get their hands on a bottle.

Sweden's state-owned alcohol chain Systembolaget has been forced to put up signs in several of its stores informing customers that alcohol such as vodka and gin does not work as a substitute for hand sanitiser.

“NOT HAND SANITISER,” read the signs.

“We have had a few questions from customers and have put up signs in those stores,” said Systembolaget press officer Therese Elmgren.

“But it is not possible, just as the signs say. The percentage (of alcohol) needs to be higher.”

An alcohol concentration of at least 60 percent is needed for disinfectant to be effective in killing viruses or bacteria. Absolut Vodka, to use an example of a popular Swedish vodka brand, has an alcohol concentration of 40 percent.

However, some of the ingredients are the same, and during the coronavirus crisis Absolut has adapted parts of its manufacturing in order to produce pure alcohol which can be used for cleaning purposes, instead of vodka for consumption. This pure alcohol then needs to be mixed with gel, manufactured separately, to create usable sanitiser for the healthcare sector.