Alcohol-monitoring Ice Cubes

It’s easy to have firm ideas about how much you’ll drink, but, as the hours pass, your judgment becomes impaired by alcohol. You may lose track of just how much you’ve had.

Enter: alcohol-monitoring ice cubes.

An MIT graduate student, Dhairya Dand, created the new tool after he wound up in the hospital after binge drinking at a party. “Cheers,” as he named his invention, is a set of glowing ice cubes that let you know when you’re drinking too much or too fast.

Dand’s prototype contains a circuit encased in an edible jelly mold that monitors the number of sips you take. An accelerometer tracks your drink’s tipping motion and calculates approximately how drunk you are by connecting this information to a timer clocking your pace. You will be alerted by an LED light that flashes from green to orange to red when you need to slow down. Ignore the ice cube’s warning, and an IR transceiver will send a text message to a designated contact letting them know you are overdoing it. And the function that allows the LED cubes to pulse along to the music playing in the club or at the party? Well, that’s purely for fun.

The new product may seem like a toy, but the stats on drinking are sobering. There are nearly 2,000 alcohol-related deaths among college students each year. Anything that can help lower that number is a welcome addition.

You can’t buy the ice cubes just yet, as only a prototype exists. Dand may start a Kickstarter campaign to get his product funded after addressing questions about how the cubes factor in body weight and account for the type of alcohol consumed.

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