Smart Ice Cubes Tell When You're Drunk

By: Discovery News Email
By: Discovery News Email

So what did you accomplish after your last drunken black out? And, no, mummifying yourself in your duvet, watching a Twin Peaks marathon and pounding a two-liter of Diet Coke doesn’t count as accomplishing anything.

Dhairya Dand, on the other hand, did accomplish something. Following a party where he got “over served,” blacked out and woke up in the hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student created a set of ice cubes that lets imbibers know when they’ve had too much.

Each “ice cube” is equipped with a colored LED, an accelerometer, IR receivers and a battery, all molded into a waterproof jelly that protects the circuitry and doesn’t compromise the taste of the drink. The accelerometer counts the number of sips one takes and compares it with a timer to calculate one’s level of intoxication.

The cubes’ colors change from green to yellow to red — red being the color that marks when enough is enough. If the person keeps drinking after the red light appears, a text will be sent to a designated friend to help intervene. Even cooler, the LEDs flash in syncopation with ambient noise, such music at a party.

A cool idea indeed, but since body weight and alcohol tolerance factor into one’s intoxication, the smart cubes are more of a considerate, novelty reminder than an exhaustive solution. Especially, since Dand calibrated his cubes to turn red after only three drinks.

Still, anything that keeps people from blacking out and waking up in the hospital has my stamp of approval. In fact, I’d raise a glass to that. Cheers.

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