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OnLatte Art and Promotion

This is kind of fun, if frivolous: Onlatte

Cambridge-based OnLatte Inc. has developed a machine for decorating the frothy foam atop espresso drinks.

Founders Josh Grob and Oleksiy Pikalo have repurposed a 1980s-era Kodak inkjet assembly and affixed it to a flat-panel scanner, thereby automating the creation of the fancy hearts, flowers, and other images formerly left in the hands of a crafty barista.

And thus, a new ad medium was born.

The creators ask us to imagine a world where “You go into a Starbucks. They want to promote the latest movie they’re a part of. They can print that on your latte.”

Or even: “You can have your own art — your own image that you want on top of your latte. That can be stored on your customer card so when you swipe your card it appears on your drink.”

The former seems to be the more likely scenario, as marketers looking to get the buzz effect from such a stunt could leverage it at various events or in specific neighborhoods. The second scenario would be a tougher sell; would consumers be willing to pay for this perk? Hard to imagine in this economy, when a lot of folks are curbing their latte drinking altogether.

Learn more at the OnLatte blog, or see it in action here:


Stephanie Rogers

You're welcome, Josh! And thanks for stopping by my blog & Twitter profile (although I admittedly don't use the latter much.) I won't be able to make it on the 29th, but thanks for the invite - have fun!

Josh Grob

Thanks for the writeup about our company, and your post is great. Hope you don't mind if I follow your twitter link, and I also see that you are local to Boston. Can you come to our meetup on Monday the 29th? Http:// Thanks again!

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