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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

Cars

Auto rivals team up for connected car demo

Rivals BMW, Ford and Groupe PSA, maker of Peugeot and Opel cars, have teamed up with the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), Qualcomm Technologies and Savari for Europe’s first live demonstration of C-V2X direct communication technology operating across vehicles from multiple auto manufacturers.

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The live demonstration also featured a live showcase of C-V2X direct communication technology operating between passenger cars, motorcycles, and roadside infrastructure. C-V2X is a global solution for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication in support of improved automotive safety, automated driving and traffic efficiency.

The demonstration exhibited the road safety and traffic efficiency benefits of using C-V2X for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) collision avoidance, as well as Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) connectivity to traffic signals and Traffic Management Centers (TMC). C-V2X was operated using real-time direct communications over ITS spectrum and demonstrated its ability to work without cellular network coverage, and underscores its commercial readiness for industry deployment as early as 2020. Superior performance and cost-effectiveness compared to other V2X technologies, along with forward-compatibility with 5G, make C-V2X direct communications a preferred solution for C-ITS applications.

Six demonstrations were shown including: Emergency Electronic Brake Light, Intersection Collision Warning, Across Traffic Turn Collision Risk Warning, Slow Vehicle Warning and Stationary Vehicle Warning, Signal Phase and Timing / Signal Violation Warning and Vulnerable Road User (pedestrian) Warning. The vehicles involved included two-wheel e-scooters provided by BMW Group, and automotive passenger vehicles provided by Ford, Groupe PSA, and BMW Group, all of which were equipped with C-V2X direct communication technology using the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset solution.  V2X software stack and application software, along with roadside infrastructure, were provided by industry leader, Savari.

C-V2X is globally supported by a broad automotive ecosystem, which includes the fast growing 5GAA organization.  The 5GAA involves over 85 global members comprised of many leading automakers, Tier-1 suppliers, software developers, mobile operators, semiconductor companies, test equipment vendors, telecom suppliers, traffic signal suppliers and road operators.  

Cellular modems will be key to the C-V2X deployment in vehicles to support telematics, eCall, connected infotainment and delivering useful driving/traffic/parking information. As C-V2X direct communication functionality is integrated into the cellular modem, C-V2X solutions are expected to be more cost-efficient and economical over competing technologies, and benefit from accelerated attach rates.  C-V2X direct communication field validations are currently underway in Germany, France, Korea, China, Japan and the U.S.

C-V2X currently stands as the only V2X technology based on globally recognized 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications, with ongoing evolution designed to offer forward compatibility with 5G.  C-V2X also leverages and reuses the upper layer protocols defined by the automotive industry, including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) organization. C-V2X includes two complementary transmission modes: 

  • Direct communication as shown in this demonstration for V2V and V2I use cases
  • V2N network communication, which leverages mobile operators for connectivity and delivers cloud-based services, including automated crash notification (ACN, as mandated by eCall), hazard warnings, weather conditions, green light optimal speed advisory (GLOSA), parking spot location, and remote tele-operation to support automated driving, to name a few.

“This demonstration builds on the successful C-V2X showcase we organised with our members Audi, Ford and Qualcomm in Washington DC in April, said Christoph Voigt, Chairman of 5GAA.

“We are excited to witness the growing momentum behind this life-saving technology and to see our members working together to deploy C-V2X, and to make it hit the road as soon as possible.”  

“The BMW Group introduced the first C-ITS use cases already in 2013 with the market introduction of the BMW i3. Today most of envisaged C-ITS use-cases are already institutionalized. With the implementation of C-V2X, the BMW Group accomplishes the last set of the puzzle with a practical path to C-ITS showing quick benefits,” said Christoph Grote, Senior Vice President Electronics, BMW Group. 

“With its ability to safely and securely connect vehicles, along with its evolution into 5G, C-V2X is integral to Ford’s vision for future transportation in which all cars and infrastructure talk to each other,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, Manager Automated Driving, Ford of Europe. “We are very encouraged by preliminary test results in Europe and elsewhere which support our belief that C-V2X direct communications has superior V2X communication capabilities.”

“We’re moving forward with seamless communication between cars and their environment for enhancing road safety, as well as our customers’ safety,” said Carla Gohin, Group PSA’s Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering. “Following the first European C-V2X direct communications demonstration we hosted with Qualcomm Technologies last March, we’re pleased to work with leading automotive and technology companies today to highlight that C-V2X interoperability is a reality.” 

“This demonstration of interoperability between multiple automakers is not only another milestone achieved towards C-V2X deployment, but also further validates the commercial viability and global compatibility of C-V2X direct communications for connected vehicles,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president & president, Qualcomm Europe and MEA. “We look forward in continuing to work alongside leaders in the automotive industry, like the 5GAA, BMW Group, Ford, Groupe PSA and Savari, to help advance the automotive industry’s shift towards a safer, connected and more autonomous future.” 

“As one of the V2X pioneers, our company is extremely pleased to continue to help enable the next step in the V2X revolution that we helped start back in 2008,” said Ravi Puvvala, CEO of Savari. “For the last year and a half, the Savari team has worked diligently alongside the dedicated C-V2X engineers in the 5GAA partnership. The resulting string of increasingly impressive demonstrations is continuing to convince the world that C-V2X will soon be deployed around the world.”

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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