Shots iGot phone app helps measure alcohol poured into new containers
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Simple math dictates that when a 20-ounce bottle of the university’s exclusive water brand Aquafina is completely full of vodka, it holds 13.3 shots. But what about when the liquor reaches just under the top of the label? Or say it dissects the logo or borders the bottom ridge? Thanks to the app Shots iGot, any iPhone wielding drinker-on-the-go can see in an instant that those bottles contain 10.1, 7.5 and 3.8 shots, respectively.
App creator and CEO of Something With Flow, Josh Rosenheck, stated in an email message that while he was in school at Rutgers University, he saw students go to parties with water bottles full of liquor, dump the contents into a solo cup and ask, “How many shots are in here?”
“One bad estimate can lead to over-pouring and some serious consequences,” Rosenheck said. “As a college student, I saw the consequences of over-drinking firsthand and recognized the potential for a simple app to serve as a cool ‘harm reduction’ tool.”
Developed by Rosenheck and two other Rutgers students, Mike Verderese and Paras Jain, at Princeton University’s computer programming contest ‘Hackathon’ from Nov. 11 to 13, the app has been available in the app store since January. It was originally spread through word of mouth at schools in the Northeast, and its popularity “exploded” when several online news sites featured it as a viral app last week, Rosenheck said.
Rosenheck thought of the idea for the app when he was inspired by an article that said the human brain has a tough time gauging volume. That phenomenon hurts students who buy large amounts of alcohol to save money and then split their supply between new, more mobile containers, he said. Often, students use the only thing they have on hand, empty water bottles.
Shots iGot provides users with different kinds of bottle shapes and sizes. Once the type is selected, the user can slide their finger along the on-screen bottle to match the physical one, and the app translates the volume to a number of shots.
Senior Kristen Latch said she first heard about the app over winter session from a friend who knew a creator from home. She and her friends downloaded it immediately and started playing around with it.
She said the app was a good idea with a basic concept that was well executed.
“It’s something that every kid does and probably doesn’t really realize that they would use an app like that every single weekend,” Latch said.
Latch said she thinks it is hard for students to correctly eyeball the amount of alcohol they are putting in their bottles, so Shots iGot is a good resource when going out.
Students often over-drink because they are unaware of the amount of alcohol they are consuming, Latch said. She said she thinks the app is accurate, and she has been pleased with its performance so far.
“It has like every type of container on it, so it’s not like you just need to bring ‘a red cup’ or ‘a water bottle,’” Latch said. “There are a lot of options for people. No matter what container they want, they can get a close measurement.”
Senior Jen Masucci said when she goes to a party, she finds it much easier to carry a water bottle than to bring the original bottle of alcohol. She has tried to measure her alcohol out by pouring individual shots or eyeballing the volume, but that can be tedious and difficult, she said.
Masucci said she and her friends are good about filling up “just half a water bottle,” and they rarely suffer the negative effects of over-drinking.
“I do wonder sometimes how many shots it is when I pour it in,” Masucci said.
She said when the app is released for Android phones, which Rosenheck said should happen soon, she would download it.
Shots iGot has 15,000 users in 56 countries, Rosenheck said. Something With Flow has a free lite version and a paid deluxe version in the app store. The company updates periodically to include bottles users have requested, he said.
Freshman Abby Edmunds said though she does not carry alcohol in water bottles herself, she has gone to parties where she sees students pouring liquor out of their own containers. She could see how students have difficulty gauging the amount of liquid they’re pouring, she said, but using water bottles has other benefits.
“It could maybe prevent having your drink spiked with something,” Edmunds said.
Masucci said the app has the potential to become popular on-campus because students already realize the benefits of using water bottles to transport liquor.
“If you have to lug around multiple beers, it’s not as easy as just pouring some liquor into a water bottle and going,” Masucci said.