Single Project

Smart Ice Cubes

IoT Project Description

Ice Cubes that Text Your Friends When You’re Drunk

The next time you’re out having a drink, you might have someone new to remind yourself that you might be drinking a bit too much. No, it’s not your bartender, your date or your mother, but your own drink! That’s right, there’s a new kind of tech that can be embedded into plastic ice cubes. Dubbed, “Cheers”, the simple tech is just a set of jellied ice cubes that are embedded with LEDs that change colors based on your pace and number of drinks. These are great for those looking to curb their drinking after they’ve already had a couple of drinks. The silicone cubes glow from green to red as you approach your alcohol limit. And since these literally cool devices are internet enabled, they even send automated text messages to a relative, friend or anyone that you assign, telling them that the user is too drunk to drive and that a responsible driver should come and take them home.

How did It Start?

This potentially lifesaving tech was invented in 2014 by 23-year old MIT graduate student, Dhairya Dand, who apparently drank too much at an on-campus frat party and woke up several hours later in the middle of the night at an ER after experiencing an alcohol blackout. And instead of learning a lesson on binge drinking on an empty stomach, which most students do, the aspiring inventor, who is a student of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he ended up inventing a device that measures how much alcohol a person drinks and how drunk they are. How inspirational!

So, how do they work?

After his alcohol-soaked night went haywire and ended in a prolonged blackout, Dand come up with the creative idea of making reusable ice cubes that would change colors depending the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed and the speed at which you’re drinking. If you’ve consumed too much, the device turns red, and glows a pale yellow if you’re drinking too fast.

Although these ice cubes sound like real party poopers, they’re actually pretty neat. They even react to sound and vaguely pulsate to the sound of music, making them a great party trick! And just like a trusted companion, it beats to the sounds of the night, and warns you when you’re reaching your limits. There are, however, a couple of limitations to Dand’s technology. For example, what do you do when you and your friends’ ice cubes are all glowing red? But at least they don’t water your drink down as does regular ice.

What initially began as a one-off concept, Dand now says that he plans to further refine his product and make it available for commercial use, all this as soon as he gets his own Kickstarter crowd funding grant. Dand, who studies at MIT’s Media Lab, is also currently working on a number of non-alcohol related projects, including “smart” shoes that are GPS enabled, and a shape-shifting display that renders objects in 3D.

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