Robotic Latte Art Coming Soon to a Cafe Near You

July 21, 2015

5:00 pm

Ah, latte art. The term holds so much promise, as if amateur Monets wait behind the counters of hipster coffee shops, eager to froth up a masterpiece on your daily caffeine.

But in practice, all we get is leaf, leaf, slightly prettier leaf, heart!, leaf, leaf, leaf.

I want latte art that merits the name art, darnit, and the Ripple Maker is all too keen to provide.

Announced at CE Week in New York City, the Ripple Maker is a machine that can print any image on the foam of your latte. From “Happy Birthday!” to your favorite sports team’s logo to Miley Cyrus’s face, it will delight or shock any coffee drinker and make for a photo that’s truly Instagram-worthy.

The Ripple Maker works by using 3D and inkjet printing technology to deposit coffee extract on top of your drink. When ordering at a cafe (or making one at home if you are just that rich), you choose from a catalogue of hundreds of designs or upload your own image through the Ripple app. In less than 10 seconds, the masterpiece will be complete.

The Ripple Maker will start shipping in September, and coffee shops and restaurants are encouraged to sign up on their website for more info (the machine costs $999, plus $75 per month for the pods and designs). The company also partnered with the airline Lufthansa, who will be offering Ripple Makers in their first and business class lounges later this year.

In the meantime, if this sudden expansion of the world of latte art has struck you dumb, here are some other ideas for designs you could be sipping this fall:

  • Your own face
  • Yoga symbols – no longer just for tote bags and tight shirts!
  • “Can I have your number?”
  • Copies of your tattoos
  • Your startup’s logo

Latte art, now you finally deserve thy name.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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