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MIT Researcher Creates Glowing, Alcohol Tracking Ice Cubes to Help Prevent Drunken Escapades

By - Source: The Next Web | B 15 comments
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This is certainly a nerdy way to keep track of your drinks...

Usually after a night of blacked out escapades, one simply suffers a hangover and learns not to hit the bar quite so hard.

But if you're MIT Media Labs Researcher Dhairya Dand, you'll learn from the experience and decide to invent something to prevent it from ever happening again. While most would simply learn to count the number of drinks that they've had at every hour, Dand decided to refine it to a science. He invented glowing ice cubes that would change from green, to orange, and to red depending on how much alcohol a drinker's had over time. Red would indicate that the individual was well past the legal limit and would notify a close friend via text.

Molded in gelatin, these glowing "ice cubes" are packed with a LED, an accelerometer, a battery, and IR transceivers, which are programmed to count the number of sips an individual takes from a drink. To keep with the club or party atmosphere, the cubes respond to ambient noise, meaning that they'll flash color to the beat of the music.

While this is an interesting (and nerdy) way to keep track of drinks, it's not particularly practical unless an individual stays secluded to one cup. And this is with the hope that in their drunken state, they don't forget that the cube is there to begin with and try to eat it…


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  • 16 Hide
    freggo , January 13, 2013 9:06 AM
    A great example that wan CAN be invented does not necessarily NEED to be invented :-)
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    freggo , January 13, 2013 9:06 AM
    A great example that wan CAN be invented does not necessarily NEED to be invented :-)
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , January 13, 2013 9:13 AM

    This could help me.
    Im dronken. Need help to get home.
    Look at me ! I glow in the dark !

    Police or momy know where to drag me.
    Splendid indeed.
  • 6 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 13, 2013 9:50 AM
    Or just buy your own breathalyzer (i.e. Backtrack B70 or whatever floats your boat), go out drinking, see how much you can have and what your BAC is after a certain amount of various drinks and test your own tolerance. I have my own breathalyzer and keep my BAC no higher than 0.03 before I drive anywhere. Oh, and eat while you drink and drink 1 water per drink or shot.
  • 0 Hide
    thecolorblue , January 13, 2013 11:41 AM
    this is so stupid
  • 1 Hide
    jalek , January 13, 2013 11:54 AM
    To avoid drunks choking on these things, just embed them in the bottom of the glasses.
    Still not a necessary thing, but they should be able to accomplish the same thing without the choking hazard.
  • -1 Hide
    A Bad Day , January 13, 2013 12:27 PM
    Or, make the chips safe for consumption and cheap to replace.
  • -4 Hide
    sheepsnowadays , January 13, 2013 2:07 PM
    This is such a waste of time money and resources that it makes me mad. What a useless concept.
  • 1 Hide
    uglynerdman , January 13, 2013 5:53 PM
    its a story about a guy making something for himself and friends, a unique invention. Now people are getting all mad about it like its commercially available or something and complaining like a consumer.

    I think its a nifty idea and cool.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , January 13, 2013 8:53 PM
    So if the person takes one glass of coke the sips will still counted as alcohol as it seem to rely on an accelerometer to do the counting - Rather useless but still a kind of geekish cool idea.
  • 0 Hide
    bnot , January 13, 2013 8:58 PM
    Our first nominee for this year's IgNoble prize.
  • 0 Hide
    joebob2000 , January 13, 2013 8:59 PM
    I think the accelerometer needs to track the pattern the drinker uses to take a swig. If it starts to detect erratic behavior or a marked amount of hesitation, then initiate the cutoff procedure.
  • 0 Hide
    teflonbilly , January 14, 2013 6:00 AM
    Wouldn't it be better to put a removable chip in a slot in the base of the glass? the bartender could just slip your chip into a reader that sets the alcohol level for that drink and it tracks how fast you drain it. each new drink the chip gets inserted into the new glass. The light effect would still be there and warn you when you have had enough. That would actually be a very marketable idea i would think. As long as the chips don't get mixed up between customers which is very easy to have happen.
  • -1 Hide
    s997863 , January 14, 2013 8:40 AM
    1st world problem.

    Makes me less envoius of not having been able to go to a world-famous place like MIT.
  • 0 Hide
    06yfz450ridr , January 14, 2013 12:02 PM
    so what happens if i take really big sips? still pretty cool though since it responds to ambient noise.