Meet the ColdSnap, an ice-cream-making gadget unveiled Monday by Sigma Phase at CES 2021. The ColdSnap works similarly to a Keurig appliance, but instead of dishing out coffee, it makes single-serve pod-dispensed ice cream and other tasty frozen treats. Frozen margaritas, mango passionfruit smoothies and chocolate ice cream are just a few of the available options.
While the ColdSnap is a countertop device, it clocks in at a whopping 50 pounds. That weight was a necessary "compromise" according to Sigma Phase President Matt Fonte, who chatted with my colleague Lexy Savvides as she tested out a ColdSnap prototype in her home. If the device were smaller and weighed less, it might take longer than the current 60-90 seconds for the machine to finish making your ice cream.
Watch this: ColdSnap makes ice cream from pods in less than 2 minutes
Fonte says his team took its inspiration from the compressor/condenser tech used in today's refrigerators and freezers to make the ColdSnap. "We've just make it more powerful and packed it into a smaller space," Fonte says.
The pods look like energy drink cans. They're made of aluminum instead of plastic because they're easier to recycle, Fonte says. But each pod also has a built-in QR code and a mixer to ensure you get the right consistency for the specific pod you're making. It starts out as a liquid mix and in under two minutes, it's supposed to dispense your ice cream. Pods are designed to keep in your pantry for up to one year.
Cleanup is supposed to be simple because it dispenses straight from the pod into the bowl or cup you're using -- and the ColdSnap offers nondairy options like oat milk ice cream in addition to the standard dairy versions.
After taste-testing the chocolate ice cream pod, Lexy described the texture as "combination of a chocolate mousse and a soft serve," with a good taste, although she said the machine was noisy.
I'm fascinated by this thing, but it's still very much in the prototype stage and won't be available until 2022. When it hits retail, it's expected to cost somewhere between $500 and $1,000. The pods will be somewhere in the $2.50-to-$3 range. That's a hefty price for ice cream, but it might be one worth making. We'll just have to wait and see.