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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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Smash hits the
Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Competitions

Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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