We are all used to the idea of Instagramming our cocktails, but the new Ripple Maker PM, made by Ripples, lets you place your Instagram-worthy photos directly on the foam of your favorite boozy beverage.
To customize a cocktail, users upload selfies, logos, or other images to the WiFi-enabled appliance using a Facebook Messenger app. From there, it takes the Ripple PM about ten seconds to “print” a greyscale version of the image using a malt extract directly on top of a beer head or frothy drink like a Pisco Sour.
Shipping now, the Ripple PM is actually a re-jiggered version of an earlier device, now known as the Ripple AM, which uses coffee extract to print customized images on coffee foam. (Get it? AM for the morning drinks, PM for the evening.) Changes to the PM include a better seat for cocktail glasses and a different drainage system. In addition to the AM and PM, Ripples also makes a Beer Ripple for all the lagerheads out there.
“The product is a platform that allows hospitality and food and beverage to use froth of their beverage as a new canvas of communications for their customers,” Ripples CEO Yossi Meshulam told me during an interview.
The Ripple PM itself costs $3,000. Print packages for the malt extract are $1,500 a year, which includes software and the first 6,000 prints (coffee print packages are $1,200/year). In addition to uploading photos directly to the machine, Ripples has a creative studio that regularly updates an online image catalog of downloadable content for printing.
Meshulam said that depending on what is being printed, a malt extract cartridge should last three to four days of heavy use before needing to be replaced. Similar to modern inkjet printers, the Ripple PM knows when it’s running out of extract and will proactively re-order cartridges for you.
While it’s not aimed at the consumer market, this is another good example of the many ways technology is enabling more customization and personalization of what we consume. It may not be as fancy as having your face 3D printed in chocolate, but it’s a little less gruesome to sip your selfie than bite your own head off.