Huff Post – First there was the HAPIfork, a smart fork that tells users when they may be overeating. Now, alcohol drinkers have their own resource that tracks when they may have had one too many.
After an alcohol-induced blackout put him in the hospital, MIT Media Lab researcher Dhairya Dand created LED ice cubes that detect alcohol and flash various colors based on the total number of drinks, Dand explains in his Vimeo clip.
Each edible gelatin ice cube holds a coin cell battery, an ATtiny microcontroller and an IR transceiver, as website Hack A Day notes. The ice cubes track the number of sips and total time spent drinking, in order to keep a running tally of total cocktails, and predict when the user may be intoxicated.
The glowing cubes, which flash in sync with ambient music and sounds, come in three colors — green, orange and red — to depict the varying stages of inebriation. In order to achieve the results Dand illustrates in the video, the drinker must have all three ice cubes present in the beverage.
“If you don’t hurry, it would take say five drinks to hit the red color. If you are having a very mild drink, it might hit red on the sixth or seventh,” Dand said.
As a precaution, if the drinker continues beyond the red level, the LED ice cubes are also capable of electronically transmitting a text message warning to a friend through the IR channel. A specific phone app allows users to designate emergency contacts.
All I need is for my drink to be flashing like a Christmas tree. Not. The whole point of drinking is the not knowing when you’re going to get drunk and pass out. No one goes out drinking just to drink and come home sober. Call me irresponsible, but that’s boring. And what do I do if I want to drink a beer? Do I ask the bartender politely to pour my Sam Adam’s Summer Ale into a nice glass while she watches me drop 3 light bright ice cubes into my drink? I don’t think so. There’s also something about dropping electronic products into a liquid that I’m going to be drinking. Kind of screams electrocution even though I know it wouldn’t be enough to kill me.
Dhairya might be scared of blacking out and winding up in the hospital, but that’s because he’s a lightweight, inexperienced drinker. Not me. Ain’t nothing like gathering 3 of your best friends together, along with all the booze in your house- one of which being Pure Grain, and a deck of 52 playing cards. Simply go around the table making everyone guess which card will be pulled next. If they get the color right, they pick their own chaser for a shot. If they guess the suit right, they get to pick their shot. If they guess the number right, they get to pick a shot for someone else. If they get the card exact, everyone drinks. Guarantee you make it no more than 20-25 cards. I know from experience. I’ve played 3 times and twice half the deck was still intact. However, every time we woke up the next morning with no recollection as to how the game, or the night ended. Surprised I can even remember the rules, although I did just sit for a good 20 minutes trying to remember. Nothing like being awake for 4 hours without remembering, losing your girlfriend, and giving your mother a stroke because she thinks you’re dying. That’s my drinking life in a nutshell.