Sure, the towering installations, self-driving cars, and elaborate smart home setups at CES are fun to see. But my favorite part of the show is wandering through Eureka Park, the gigantic open room filled with over 1,200 startups all hoping to make a name for themselves. Meandering up and down the aisles of this room is one of the best ways to discover companies that are hidden gems.
Interestingly, some of this year’s coolest startups involved beverages. From coffee alarm clocks to wine sensors, here are five that caught my eye amid the chaos of Eureka Park.
Making your morning espresso with a coffee pod is super convenient, but those plastic pods are a blight on the environment (unless you mail them back to Nespresso), not to mention, expensive. Atom Xquare Limited’s Capsulier device is out to free you from the pod with their countertop machine which lets you make your own custom coffee pods for Nespresso machines. Just put a scoopful ground coffee (or loose-leaf tea) in the top of the device, pop in the reusable stainless steel pod, and pull the lever to pack your own pod. You can use it in your Nespresso machine, then wash it out and then reuse.
There are already refillable Nespresso capsules on the market, but Capsulier promises to precisely measure and pack your coffee so there’s no mess or guestimating. As of now the Capsulier only makes pods that fit into Nespresso machines, so if you use a Keurig you’re out of luck. The device retails for $99 on Atom Xquare Limited’s website, and you can purchase additional pods for $36 each.
TeaRado Tech‘s smart, self-heating tea tumbler can brew up to two cups of tea on the go. To make the tea, fill the interior basket with loose leaf tea, pour room temperature water into the tumbler, and set the brew time and water temperature on the TeaRado app. In 12 to 15 minutes, the water will heat up to 170 °F and brew the tea via an automated French Press-like movement. You can either brew by setting the tumbler on a charging pod and plugging it into the wall, or attaching it to a battery pack to brew on the go.
TeaRado’s brewer will retail for $150, and users can also purchase tea through the connected app. TeaRado will launch on Kickstarter on April 15 and is expected to ship in December of this year.
Unless you’re a sommelier, figuring out the composition of wines — and which types you like — can be a daunting challenge. MyOeno Scan has a small device (roughly 4 inches long) which, when inserted into a glass of wine, will display a breakdown of its levels of tannins, acidity, and strength on the MyOeno app. Afterwards, you drink and rate the wine, so the app learns what type you like. Once you’ve established your taste profile, you can search for compatible wines on the MyOeno app and see where they’re available to purchase.
The device retails for €89 ($102 USD) and is available on the MyOeno website and through Amazon. Fun fact: MyOeno can also be used in milk to detect if it contains any water or detergent, a service which the team told me is mostly used in Asia.
Dragging yourself out of bed in the morning is way easier if coffee is near. U.K. startup Barisieur‘s coffee brewer alarm clock brings the cup of joe to you while you’re still in bed. The night before, fill the drawer on the front of the device with ground coffee (or tea), then set your alarm and indicate whether you want your coffee to start brewing before, during, or after your alarm sounds. It takes 2 to 3 minutes for the water to boil, and a few more for the coffee to brew. There’s even a small chilled compartment where you can keep a wee container of milk or half-n-half.
Barisieur retails for $445 (zoinks!), and is available online and in several large department stores in the U.K. and U.S.
No one likes running out of beer. And while keeping track of your bottle count isn’t exactly rocket science, the new smart beer fridge from Tokyo-based DrinkShift manages your stock for you. The fridge’s server monitors your drinking pace and uses an algorithm to figure out when to re-order more brewskies so you never run out. You can customize beer packages to indicate which ones you want, and they’re delivered to your door via a third party retailer.
DrinkShift debuted their fridge this April; it was immediately bought by Panasonic. It’s not on the market yet, and also doesn’t yet have a retail price — but one of the booth workers told me it will first roll out in Japan.
Eureka Park is huge and I am but one person — did I miss any cool, under-the-radar startups? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @TheSpoonTech!