After a bad night of drinking led to a stint in the hospital, MIT Media Lab researcher Dhairya Dand created Cheers, waterproof ice cubes housing electronics that measure how fast you’re drinking and alert you — by an LED light that changes color from green to yellow to red — when your alcohol level is reaching dangerous levels. They can even send a text message to friends if necessary via infrared signal. When you’re not drinking, the light glows in response to ambient sound, including music.
What’s the Big Idea?
Dand, who’s also invented several educational toys for kids, created Cheers in the three weeks following the hospital scare, spending only $50 on the materials. His friends thought the idea was a joke in the beginning, but they’ve changed their minds: “Everyone wants a dozen now!” As for patenting his invention, Dand dismisses the idea: “I believe in open-source. My inventions [are] open to be hacked, developed and played around.” That said, it’s not clear when or if Cheers will be made available to the public.