New LED ice cubes tell you when to stop drinking

Gone are the days when getting the spins was enough to know that you should probably put down the glass and stop drinking.

A researcher from the MIT Media Lab has created a device that attempts to answer the age-old question that's been racking the brains of college students for decades: What can I put in my drink that will tell me to stop drinking before I get the spins?

Why, LED ice cubes that detect alcohol, of course!

After an alcohol-induced blackout that led to a trip to the hospital, Dhairya Dand sought to create a device that can help prevent your night from getting a little out of hand. What he came up with are glowing ice cubes that keep a running tally of cocktails consumed by tracking the number of sips, as well as the total time spent drinking.

Each one of these edible gelatin cubes houses a coin cell battery, an IR transceiver, and an ATiny microcontroller, the Huffington Post reports. And yes, you did read that previous sentence correctly. Edible gelatin cubes, with batteries. Sounds like something that may prevent you from mixing that drink in the first place.

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As Dand demonstrates in the video, the cubes flash in three colours — green, orange and red — which are used to depict the varying levels of intoxication. When the cubes shine red, it's time to leave the bar, I guess.

"If you don't hurry, it would take say five drinks to hit the red colour," Dand told the Huffington Post. "If you are having a very mild drink, it might hit red on the sixth or seventh."

But what happens if the user continues drinking when the cubes shine red, you ask? Well, the cubes use the IR channel to electronically transmit a text message to a friend, warning said companion that you may be one shot away from partying with Charlie Sheen. An accompanying phone app allows the user create a list of emergency contacts.

Now, I'm all for the advancement of technology, but I think I'll stick to the spins.

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