Last fall, MIT graduate student Dhairya Dand had too much to drink at a campus party, and woke up in the emergency room seven hours later after blacking out. Rather than slowing down, he decided to create a digital ice cube that warns people before they black out.
The 23-year-old studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology invented the digital ice cubes to measure how drunk he is to avoid a similar situation in the future.
The cubes are made from gelatin and implanted with infrared transmitters, accelerometers and LED lights that change color from green to yellow to red, depending on how quickly he’s imbibing booze and how much he’s had.
The accelerometers measure the number of sips one is taking, giving an estimate of the user’s blood alcohol content, which is said to be about 80 percent accurate.
If the user continues to drink despite the red light, the digital ice cube will send a text message to his friends saying that he should be taken home.
The idea came to him, he said, after he was ordered to write a 20 page research paper about the dangers of binge drinking after he got into trouble with the university administration for his drunken night.
“Instead I had this sudden flash of an idea to make something that would keep alcohol consumption in check,” he told MailOnline.
What started as a one-off project, Dand is now starting a Kickstarter project to raise money to produce the digital ice cubes.
Dand studies at the MIT Media Labs, where he is currently working on projects including smart shoes that will help wearers find their way in unfamiliar cities and a shape-changing display that is able to render objects in three dimensions.
This is certainly innovation Generation Y needs.
Stephen Willard | Elite.