Developed by a 23-year-old MIT student named Dhairya Dand after an alcohol-induced blackout during a college party, the Cheers LED ice cubes keep track of the amount of alcohol that’s being consumed by a specific person. Placed within a glass, the LED cubes have been designed to change colors as drinks are consumed. Based on Dand’s personal alcohol tolerance, he designed the cube to stay green during the first drink, transition to yellow during the second drink and change to red during the third drink to warn Dand that he’s reaching his limit. It’s likely that the cubes could be adjusted for different people based on various levels of alcohol tolerance.
This is accomplished by keeping track of the current time in addition to using an accelerometer to monitor the number of sips of each drink. Other hardware used within the cube includes a small LED light, a battery and an IR transceiver.
This hardware has been encased within an edible jelly which is also waterproof. Dand has also designed the cubes to react to ambient noise and the LED lights within the cube will flash intermittently with music being played at a party, club or bar.
If Dand continues to drink alcohol beyond the third drink, he’s designed the cube to connect with his smartphone and trigger a text message to a close friend. In reference to the texting function, Dand said “The cubes talk to your phone to make the call. They communicate over IR with a custom removable IR receiver fitted on the smartphone’s audio jack,” in an interview with ABC News. Ideally, his friend would attempt to get in contact with Dand in order to convince him to stop drinking before triggering another alcohol-induced blackout.
Dand spent approximately $50 in materials when developing the prototype of the Cheers ice cubes, but isn’t interested in getting a patent for the invention despite significant interest from other MIT students. Regarding further development on the Cheers LED ice cubes, Dand stated “I believe in open-source. My inventions are are open to be hacked, developed and played around.”