retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The other day, we found and passed along a story about a new fork that has been created by techies that contains a motion sensor - it helps people control their eating habits by tracking how fast the fork goes from plate to mouth, and vibrating when the eater goes too fast.

Now, Salon.com takes note of yet another technological "advance" that could impact consumption. Here's how Salon frames the innovation:

"After binge drinking at a party landed MIT graduate student Dhairya Dand in the hospital, he responded like any self-respecting tech geek would: By inventing something. Three weeks after his alcohol-induced blackout, the engineer and former toy designer created a set of glowing ice cubes that let you know when you’re drinking too much or too fast."

The story notes that the cubes contain "a circuit encased in an edible jelly mold that monitors the number of sips you take. An accelerometer tracks your drink’s tipping motion, and calculates approximately how drunk you are with a timer clocking your pace. And sending a not-so-subtle message about when you should slow down is an LED light that flashes from green to orange to red as the night winds on. Ignore the ice cube’s warning and an IR transceiver will send a text message to a designated contact, letting them know you’re overdoing it."

To this point, the cubes - dubbed "Cheers" - are just a prototype, and Dand is looking to use Kickstarter.com, the crowd funding site, to raise money for production.
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