Culture News

Don't Drink That: DrinkSavvy Cups Detect Roofies, Change Colors

DrinkSavvy is trying to raise money for a series of cups, straws and stirrers that would change color if they come in contact with colorless, odorless, and tasteless date rape drug like GHB or Rohypnol.

Unlike existing proposed system, this technology would be discreet and impossible to misplace or forget to use. When your clear plastic cup turns a menacing shade of red, you'll know it's time to chuck it.

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It's clear DrinkSavvy campaign is heavily focused on the engineering side of the technology rather than the marketing, so we apologize ahead of time for the quality of the video to follow. Try to think of it as a nostalgic trip back to a time when the internet was new, RealPlayer was the only way to watch video and HD video couldn't be shot and uploaded to the internet from a cellphone.

DrinkSavvy founder Mike Abramson's initial goal seems fairly reasonable: To create a color changing disposable stirrer or straw that will last through an entire night of drinking. And Abramson's long term goal is to get enough of these drug detecting cups and straws into the market that it'll make it virtually impossible for people to get slipped a date rape drug.

That said, it seems like it might be a while before this hits the market. Abramson has demonstrated a mockup of how the technology might work but he didn't talk much about how the precisely the technology works. Presumably he's unwilling to share specifics since that might make it possible for potential rapists to figure out a workaround.

The bigger promise is that these detection strips will be completely integrated into cups themselves, presumably when they're manufactured. There's no word on how they intend to convince manufacturers to integrate that sort of technology or if Abramson is aiming to get into the cup fabricating business themselves. His initial fundraising goal of $50,000 seems fairly meager for such an ambitious project, "[To] Make Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault a Crime of the Past."

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Ando Muneno
Contact: Ando Muneno