MixStik is an LED swizzle stick that shows you how to make cocktails

About how long does it take for you to get tired of bartending at your own party? The longest I’ve ever made it before getting pulled away or just sort of wandering off is about two hours. After that point, drinks degenerated into unpredictable combos of alcohol and whatever nearly-expired mixers I could rummage up from the depths of my fridge. Thankfully, I think MixStik, a cool new Kickstarter gizmo, could be my solution. At least, in theory – and I’ll clarify that later.

Taken in parts, MixStik is a strip of 24 LED lights linked to an accompanying mobile app. it’s basically a smart swizzle stick with a built-in bartender’s guide. Just pick your recipe in the app, assign different colors to ingredients, put MixStik in your glass, and add ingredients to the match the colors.

The hardware is what you’d expect, a Cortex MO+ processor, Bluetooth, and waterproof food-grade silicone — or at least that’s the stats on the prototype. An accelerometer is also built in, giving MixStik a little more versatility as a LED indicator. It’s also got little rubber spikes on the bottom of the stick to make muddling easier. At the dry end (with the little cocktail symbol), a little cap covers a full USB port for charging the Lithium-ion battery.

MixStik does need to be calibrated to match the glass or shaker, so it knows x-number of lights corresponds to y-amount of liquor (or ice, or solids like mint). Calibration is simple; line the MixStik up next to the glass and adjust the on-screen sliders until the lights match the glass size. To stave off annoyance, the app lets you save your glass and shaker settings in memory. You can even link up to five sticks with one app.

The iOS MixStik app will be ported to Android, though the MixStik team hasn’t reached that point yet. Suggested ideas for more functions include a shopping list calculator that will let you select a given number of cocktails and tell you how much booze and mixers you need to make them, as well as an inventory filter that shows you which cocktails you can make with the ingredients you’ve got on hand. The shopping list calculated isn’t actually included at the moment, but the device’s open API means it could easily become a reality.

And that’s not all. MixStik’s app also functions like a high-tech glow stick, and is able to program and capture messages written in light. Raphaël, CEO of Magnified Self and one of the creators of MixStik explained how it works. “The light message, we call it ‘Light Texting,’ is the same principle as light painting. There is a long exposure setting for taking photos on the app.”

Type your text in the app, the MixStik picks it up and changes the LED distribution as you move the stick horizontally. Raphaël pointed out, “You need to be in the dark,” but in any case it’s a neat and easy way to make light messages, fun for rave promoters everywhere.

At time of writing, the MixStik campaign has nearly doubled its $39,000 goal, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The device is projected to retail for $60, so if you love the idea, check out the Kickstarter before the campaign ends November 5. If all goes as planned, MixStiks will start shipping to backers sometime around March 2016.

Deals

Shop early Black Friday deals on Philips Hue products from Amazon, today only

Avoid the Black Friday hassle and shop great online deals. Amazon is offering huge discounts on refurbished Philips Hue smart lighting products to help light your home. For today only, you can grab a range of smart home tech from Amazon.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Deals

These headlights have 4 color settings to help save lives under all conditions

Boslla headlights are an easy-to-install solution to achieve all-weather lighting for your vehicle. After a quick ten-minute install, these lights have up to four settings to get you through anything.
Wearables

Check out 25 of the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch

Looking for some ways to spruce up that new Android smartwatch of yours? Here are the best Wear OS apps to download and use with any Android smartwatch, including a few specially enhanced for Wear OS 2.0.
Emerging Tech

This fully autonomous $400 drone folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.