As MIT graduates student occasionally do, 23-year-old Dhairya Dand had a bit too much to drink at a party one night.But a couple of hours later, he found himself in the hospital — and waking up from an alcohol-induced blackout. Dand, shaken by the event, used it as the inspiration for inventing Cheers, a set of LED ice cubes that alert drinkers if they’re imbibing too much alcohol.
The ice cubes – which groove to ambient music as you’re dancing the night away – turn green, yellow or red depending on how much you’ve had to drink. Yellow is a warning, while red is a clear sign to put the cup down. The cubes rely on an accelerometer and a timer to detect a person’s level of intoxication, and come encased in a food-safe, jellylike cube. The cubes can also connect with a drinker’s cell phone to alert a friend that the user has had too much to drink.
(MORE: Alcohol Does a Body Good? Study Finds It Boosts Bone Health)
Dand, who is a researcher at MIT’s Media Lab, spent three weeks in the lab developing the ice cubes. “[My friends] joked around when I told them I was going to make these ice cubes in reflection to what I went through at the party,” said Dand told ABC.
The whole device only cost Dand about $50 to create. His friends, at first hesitant toward the idea, now are more enthusiastic about the cubes. Said Dand, “Everyone wants a dozen now.”