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03.2013

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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WICKED SMAHT ICE CUBES

Ever woken up with a brutal hangover and wished that you’d had the presence of mind to stop after two instead of five cocktails?  Well, in the future your ice cubes could actually do that service for you.  After experiencing his own bad hangover, MIT Media Labs researcher Dhairya Dand created prototype 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.  “11:3Opm: I remember having three drinks.  7 hours later: I wake up at the hospital.  I had an alcohol-induced blackout.”  In comes his 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 it awfully hard to forget the cubes are there.  They can also be programmed to send a text message to the imbiber’s nearby friends if he or she has gone over the limit.  While the idea is interesting, it does have some potential glitches.  For instance, a non-see-through cup with dark beer would make it difficult to detect the cubes.  They could also be swallowed.  And of course, individual tolerance varies with sex and weight so simply counting drinks wouldn’t always work.  Kudos to Dand for turning his hangover into something productive.

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