Ripples won the Last Gadget Standing Online Audience award at CES 2016. Ripples won the Last Gadget Standing Online Audience award at CES 2016. Ripples allows baristas to create high-resolution images on foam milk. The machine won the Last Gadget Standing Online Audience award at CES 2016. (Photo: YouTube)

Latte art machine earns top award at Consumer Electronics Show

Ripples is voted the gadget 'most likely to succeed.'

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) finished up this past weekend in Las Vegas, but not before the winners of the Last Gadget Standing were announced. The competition, now in its 15th year, seeks audience opinion about which products are most likely to succeed, and is divided into two categories, a live audience award and an online audience award.

This year's online winner made ripples – literally – in the coffee world in 2015. The machine, called Ripples, allows baristas to create high-resolution images on steamed foam milk in just seconds.

An extensive catalogue of images and designs is provided with the machine, but the big announcement at CES by SteamCC, the Israeli startup behind Ripples, was a new smartphone app that allows the "end drinker" to create custom images or messages with just the tap of a button.

The $1,000 machine is expected to be most popular among coffee houses, and is being welcomed with open arms by many in the industry.

"The world has become more visual and this seems like the coffee industry's natural response to that," Krystal Woods, a barista at Otha's, a coffeeshop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, told From The Grapevine. "And frankly it's nice to get a little diversity. You can only put so many four-leaf clovers on top of a cappuccino."

The other award, voted on by a live audience, was given to the Vuze camera, the world’s first 3D virtual reality camera for under $1,000. Another Israeli startup, HumanEyes Technologies, is behind this gadget, which got a lot of love at CES, though it won't be available for purchase until sometime in the middle of 2016. However, at that price point, about 60 times cheaper than one of its main competitors, the Nokia Ozo, it's being billed as worth the wait.

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