The Ripple Maker. It lets coffee companies put images on the foam on top of the...
Let me stop you there. This isn’t new. We all know about latte art.
I thought you might say that. This is latte art 2.0. Created by Ripples Inc., the device prints high resolution images onto foam-topped drinks. Logos, caution contents hot symbols, kittens. You name it. It can apparently be used on any “frothy beverage” but as it draws with coffee extract you probably would not want it anywhere near your Guinness.
Sounds cool. I’ve always wanted to print my face on my morning coffee
Loads of big brands are already using it to build up their brand loyalty as people share the concept with their friends using an app - creating the ‘ripple effect’ on customers, if you will. Yossi Meshulam, co-founder of the Ripple Maker company, says that putting an image or a message onto the top of a coffee is a simple concept, yet it’s an “incredibly powerful way to personally connect with consumers.” It’s aimed at hotels, cafes, restaurants, food service and event organisers with the aim of engaging the customer to keep them coming back.
And does it?
Well, it won the Last Gadget Standing Online award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last year, and anyone who knows anything about gadgets will confirm that that’s a pretty big deal. Match.com used a Ripple Maker to play cupid, printing faces of potential love matches on coffees at a pop up stall to help shy singletons get together. People went crazy for it on social media, although we’re not sure how well the hunt for love went. Lavazza was creating ‘ripples’ at Wimbledon too, personalising coffees for visitors and creating over 1.7m impressions across social media.
That’s pretty impressive. Where can I have a go?
Keep your eyes peeled. The Ripple Maker went on sale to German and UK hospitality markets this month, so we expect them to be widely available soon. Until then, the closest you’re getting to a personalised cup of Joe is having your name on the side of your Starbucks cup.