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CES 2016: Coffee art gets tech facelift

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Last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Steam CC unveiled the Coffee Ripples app, which pairs with the Ripples coffee maker to allow consumers to create their own images on cappuccinos or lattes.

Steam CC, the company behind the Ripple Maker, a new device that produces any image or message (known as a Ripple) onto a foam-topped coffee, has unveiled the Coffee Ripples App which pairs with the device to allow the coffee drinker to create anything they can imagine onto a cappuccino or latte.

The Ripple Maker has been wowing coffee lovers in NYC with its ability to produce high-resolution Ripples onto lattes, cappuccinos, or any foam-topped drink in a matter of seconds. Now the Coffee Ripples App empowers anyone with a smartphone to turn ordinary beverages into extraordinary experiences by creating inspiring Ripples from any image, photo or message they choose or create.

The Ripple Maker combines patented printing technologies with coffee extract filled Ripple Pods, to create the Ripples. Created for coffee shops, restaurants or hospitality suites, any venue that serves coffee will be able to take advantage of the opportunities for engagement, loyalty and emotional connection that Ripples provides.

The Coffee Ripples App makes creating and sending a personal image as simple as creating a social media post. The app functionality allows the user to choose an existing image from Ripples’ extensive content library, or to submit an image from their camera roll which will be transformed into foam art at the venue. Users can edit, scale, filter and even add text to the image before they send.

Initially available on iOS, with Android versions launching in February 2016, the app is location based, so is able to locate and display Ripple-enabled venues in the area.

“The reaction to the Ripple Maker from coffee shop owners, baristas and the general public has been as extraordinary as the coffee art they have collectively created,” said Yossi Meshulam, CEO of Steam CC, parent of Ripples. “With the addition of the extensive content library and robust consumer app, we look forward to offering the Ripples experience to many more countries and venues around the world.”

The Ripple Maker will be available to commercial establishments that serve coffee, and will be delivered with service plans. These flexible plans provide owners with Ripple Pods, operating service and warranties, as well as access to Ripples’ content platform and themes. The Coffee Ripples App is free to consumers.

The Ripple Maker requires no special training, is small and convenient, and adds mere seconds to the coffee delivery process. Its intuitive display makes it simple to browse existing Ripple content which is arranged by themes (greetings, smart quotes, coffee humour, etc.), or to print a message that was sent by the Coffee Ripples App.

With the Coffee Ripples App coffee lovers can:

  • Browse Ripples’ content library
  • Submit their own image, picture, design or message and send it to a local Ripple Maker to produce
  • Edit, scale, filter and even add text to Ripples
  • Locate Ripple-enabled venues

Key elements of the Ripple Maker include:

  • Wi-Fi enabled device that neatly fits onto counter top with a small 8.5″ x 10.5″ footprint
  • Creates high quality images or messages on foam topped drinks using pods filled with coffee extract
  • As no artificial color is added, Rippled images are produced in “Coffee Scale” – coffee based shades rather than full color
  • Adjusts automatically to a wide range of coffee cups up to 7″ high and 4.5″ wide, to produce Ripples that fit the diameter of the selected cup
  • Ripples are produced within 10 seconds
  • Ripples’ content library has hundreds of images and messages to choose from; new images constantly uploaded in real-time to the cloud
  • Ripples’ content library is an open platform for any Ripple artist to submit images for consideration
  • Currently available in the US, expanding in 2016

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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