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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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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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