WHAT NEXT? FURRY PILLOWS AND COCONUT SPEAKERS

Tokyo startup Yukai Engineering specialises in lifestyle robotics, and its stand in the IFA NEXT Innovation Hall is proving popular thanks to Qoobo – a furry robot cushion with a wagging tail. “It is designed for people who can’t have pets, because of allergies or their accommodation restrictions,” said Yutaka Mizuochi, Designer, Yukai Engineering. “Depending on how you stroke it, the tail will wag in different ways,” he said, claiming that Qoobo “heals your heart.” Yukai’s application of robotic tech has other implications too: an IoT home hub device called Bocco is a small robot which can alert you when someone opens the front door as well as relaying messages between connected family members. A prototype of the latest evolution – Bocco Emo – is also on display at IFA NEXT, with its upgraded AI able to react with emojis to incoming messages and a richer communication experience aimed at expanding usage into the business market.

> Hall 26, Stand 210

Ukrainian startup Copra has had a long journey to market with its unusual audio product since conceiving it in 2003, but that time is fleeting compared to the “millions of years of evolution” the company observes is behind the USP of its speakers: coconut shells. Each speaker is housed in the fruit by-product, harnessing the organic strength, thickness, shape and hardness of the natural material. This botanical conceit is also reflected in the wider product design, offering a changeable acoustic system to suit the user’s personal needs with four ranges and eight amplifiers, each linked directly with individual speakers, aiming for excellent accuracy and balance of sound.

> Hall 26, Stand 221