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The ice cubes that know when you’re drunk

Home - by - January 20, 2013 - 12:00 America/New_York - 11 Comments

The Week

A high-tech way to maintain a healthy buzz and avoid a massive blackout.

We’ve all had nights when we drank too much, and mornings when we woke up wishing someone had stopped us after our second drink, rather than our fifth. Dhairya Dand, an inventive MIT Media Labs researcher, has taken that wish and made it a reality by creating a prototype for ice cubes that monitor how much you drink.

The inspiration for Cheers, the “alcohol-aware glowing ice-cubes” came after Dand attended an MIT party that ended badly. “11:30 pm: I remember having three drinks. 7 hours later: I wake up at the hospital. I had an alcohol-induced blackout,” the video about the prototype describes. In comes his genius invention: The ice cubes, which are actually waterproof jelly made to look like cubes, are stuffed with LEDs and a device that measures movement. With each sip of your drink, the cubes keep track of your intake, and go from green to orange to red based on how much you imbibe. Bonus: The cubes are sensitive to vibration, so they flash with the music, “making you look extra cool in the club,” and making it awfully hard for you to forget the cubes are there. The cherry on top? They can be programmed to send a text message to the party animal’s close friends if he or she has gone over the limit.

Definitely a cool idea, but it’s not without potential drawbacks: What if you’re drinking really dark beer out of a non-see-through cup? What if you accidentally swallow the cube? What if you’re 5’2 and drinking Scotch? Certainly you’d want to stop before your third Laphroaig on the rocks. “The smart cubes are more of a considerate, novelty reminder than an exhaustive solution,” says Nic Halverson at Discovery News. But even so, you’ve gotta hand it to Dand for using his hangover as inspiration. “What did you accomplish after your last drunken blackout?” Halverson asks. I don’t remember, but it wasn’t nearly as productive.

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» 11 Comments

  1. Redgrandma

    January 20th, 2013

    Reoccurring blackout drinking experiences are a sign of alcoholism. The only safe drinking for an alcoholic is no drinking. If you think you need disco ice cubes then you might have a problem. But I’d send a set to Chrissy so the people around him will be safer.

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  2. [...] Read Story [...]

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  3. J Frank Parnell

    January 20th, 2013

    Will they blink Red hammer-and-sickles when drunk by a boot-licking, pinko propagandist like Tingles? Perhaps a palm version.

    Chrissy’s Run.

    Report to Carousel, Chrissy.

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  4. Kanye the Kenyon

    January 20th, 2013

    That pic is of Mr Softballs hisself drinkin’ the Massa O’s enem…..koolaid

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  5. RANDO

    January 20th, 2013

    “Alcoholic blackout” after 3 drinks??

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  6. judgeroybean

    January 20th, 2013

    Hey ya, three drinks? Just how big were those pitchers?

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  7. venturaguy

    January 20th, 2013

    Back when I drank I considered a six-pack as “one”

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  8. venturaguy

    January 20th, 2013

    Who puts ice cubes in beer & wine?
    This is a dumb idea – the “inventive MIT Media Labs researcher” would have better spent his time learning how to drink responsibly
    Just another loser lib who cannot control his own behavior but wants to tell us how to control ours.

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  9. Tim

    January 20th, 2013

    “I haven’t fallen asleep in 20 years! I pass out!”

    Rodney Dangerfield

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  10. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    January 20th, 2013

    They should maybe add music to them so they’re not completely worthless. lol

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  11. kvn

    January 20th, 2013

    What a great product. Could use them to remind me when I am getting sober and need to drink more.

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