'Smart Straw' detects drink tampering and was developed by students

Thursday, June 08, 2017 06:04PM
Lori Stokes has the story on the invention-winning student-created straw.


FLORIDA - Who knew a straw could be used as a weapon to fight crime?

A team of students from a high school in Florida created a smart straw.

It's very simple to use, you just put the straw in your drink.

"If it is clear, then that indicates that there is no ketamine or GHB in your alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink," a student said.

But if it comes out blue, "The drink is tampered with ketamine or GHB."

Before developing the actual smart straw, the students did their homework.

They learned one in every five women is the victim of rape, and the drugs of choice for spiking drinks are roofies, GHB, and ketamine.

Those are the drugs the smart straw detects.

"So we decided that we really wanted to help change that. This product could have such a big impact in the world and just using it could save so many people from really dangerous type situations and becoming a victim," said Carolina Baigorri, a student.

The girls entered their straw into the business plan challenge where they took home first place.

The judges were very impressed with the simplicity of the product, which may easily find a place of prominence in restaurants, nightclubs and college campuses.

"We actually did a survey at Northwestern and we received feedback from the sororities and fraternities that 85-percent of the people would use them," said Susana Cappello, a student.

Now the students are encouraged to continue developing more products, to complement the smart straw, and most importantly, patent it before others copy it.

"Just taking the precaution, keeping it with you, at least just try. It doesn't affect you in any way so just to feel safe. That's our main goal to make people feel safe," said Victoria Roca, a student.
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