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Brief Published: 6 Feb 2013

Cheers: Ice Cubes for Safe Drinking


Dhairya Dand, a student at US university MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), has developed a set of glowing ice cubes that can monitor alcohol consumption and warn the user that they might have had too much to drink.

The ice cubes, dubbed Cheers, contain an accelerometer, LED light, an infrared transceiver and a coin cell battery, encased in edible gelatin. The equipment enables the cubes to measure the strength and quantity of alcohol consumed, as well as the user’s drinking pace.

The LED lights flash green, amber or red based on the number of drinks consumed. If the user ignores the coloured warnings and continues to drink, the transceiver sends a text message to a friend letting them know that he or she is in danger.

“I had an idea of making some device that would be cool to have in a party as well as keep your alcohol intake in check," Dand told US news website the Huffington Post. "As I went back to think about what would be the most fun way to engage the user, I thought of ice cubes."

The ice cubes are one of a number of new consumer devices that use sensors to intelligently monitor and adjust user behaviour. Other examples include the weight-loss tool Hapifork, which buzzes when the user eats too quickly; and Learnstift, a vibrating pen that alerts users when they make a spelling mistake. To discover more about the “internet of sensors”, take a look at Lift: Artificial Intelligence.

Dhairya Dand