It's kinda nice when baristas draw little things like hearts or leaves in the foam on your cappuccino. There's a chance, however, that those designs may be going the way of cave paintings. That's because Israeli startup Steam CC recently introduced its Ripple Maker, a machine that reproduces photos, text or other graphics on coffee foam.
The Ripple Maker was first unveiled last June, when it was revealed that Lufthansa airlines would be using the devices in its First and Business Class departure lounges. Last week at CES, however, broader availability of the system was announced – it can now be purchased by any business that serves coffee.
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The machine combines 3D- and inkjet-printing technologies, along with replaceable "Ripple Pods" containing an extract made from Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Users prepare foam-topped beverages as they usually would, and then place the mug in the Ripple Maker. The machine then raises the mug up to its print head, where the selected design (known as a Ripple) is applied to the foam using the extract. The printing process takes 10 seconds.
Using an accompanying iOS/Android app, users can choose from an online library of Ripples, plus they can create designs of their own. Additionally, coffee shop costumers can send in a design of their own, to a local Ripple Maker-equipped shop. This means that someone could get a coffee for a friend, for instance, with a picture of their face or a personalized greeting on it.
The Ripple Maker is priced starting at US$1,299, and is available with an $85/month service plan. Each Ripple Pod is reportedly good for about 1,000 Ripples – and no, they'e not refillable.
The machine can be seen in use, in the following video.
Source: Ripple Maker