An article in today’s Globe describes a Boston-area startup that has built a device for printing images onto the surface of beverages (latte, Guinness). It is certainly a novel idea, though one wonders if it could be a profitable one once the novelty wears off.

OnLatte’s decision to dispense food-grade colorant with a commercial inkjet print cartridge is a sound one. But looking at their pictures is a little frustrating because it makes my inner engineer scream, “I could build a better prototype than that!” For starters, why use an X-Y positioning system to print on a circular surface?