The weird and wacky tech of IFA 2019

From a purring cat pillow to sunglasses with sound, these are the gadgets and gizmos we loved at IFA 2019.

Rich Brown
Rich was the editorial lead for CNET's Home and Wellness sections, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Before moving to Louisville in 2013, Rich ran CNET's desktop computer review section for 10 years in New York City. He has worked as a tech journalist since 1994, covering everything from 3D printing to Z-Wave smart locks.
Rich Brown
1 of 23 Jide Akinrinade/CNET

Qoobo Tail Cushion

Welcome to IFA 2019, the Berlin-based trade show where the world's tech companies get together to show off their latest shiny gadgets. We've already seen Samsung's new Galaxy Fold and Amazon's new gear, but here we're taking a look at some of the more quirky products we've found.

First up, Senior Editor Andrew Hoyle gets to grips -- literally -- with a pillow that purrs like a cat and has a mechanical tail that swishes around. Andrew dearly misses his wonderful orange cat Toulouse, who wasn't allowed to attend the trade show, so this pillow is serving well as a substitute for now.

2 of 23 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Acer Predator Thronos Air gaming chair

You might recognize Thronos from its debut at IFA 2018. The difference this year? A massage add-on. 

3 of 23 Shara Tibken/CNET

Samsung Bot Chef

Samsung's Bot Chef robot is a proof of concept, and we wouldn't expect to see it in stores any time soon, but it made a mean salt cod with beurre blanc in a demo here in Berlin.

4 of 23 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Wiz Filament LED bulb

The second-generation Wiz bulbs look to improve on the first models with even more features. You'll be able to program ordinary light switches to trigger scenes, so you can flip your bathroom switch twice at night to turn the lights on at a dim level. 

Wiz has second-gen white and color-changing bulbs, but the coolest is this stylish filament bulb. Philips Hue just debuted a similar bulb, but this model from Wiz will be able to change to different shades of white. 

5 of 23 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Safera Sense

This unique sensor sits on the wall above your stove. It senses air quality and alerts you if it gets too low so you know to air out your kitchen. 

It also senses heat and motion. If the stove is hot and you're not around, it can sound a siren and send you an alert. 

Safera Sense will also work with appliance manufacturers to automatically turn off the stove in the future. 

6 of 23 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Nuki Opener

Nuki showed off a smart lock at IFA, and this unique model is destined for Europe and meant to retrofit on an intercom system. 

7 of 23 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Roli Lumi

While Roli makes various products for DJs and professional music producers, its latest product, Lumi, is designed more for learning, with a dedicated iPad app aimed at helping budding musicians get up to speed. 

8 of 23 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

PowerWatch smartwatch

The PowerWatch claims to never need recharging, thanks to its ability to draw some of its power from your body heat.

9 of 23

Braun LE speakers

You might recognize the Braun logo from your toothbrush, but in fact the German company used to make speakers. This new set is its first in 28 years, modeled after a design Braun first debuted in 1959. 

The new Brauns have all the modern trappings layered onto their classic looks, including wireless stereo pairing, a built in microphone that works with Google Assistant capability built-in, and a physical button to cut off the microphone for privacy.

Pricing starts at $379 for the LE03 model, scales up to $1,199 for the top-end LE01. They hit retail in October.

10 of 23 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Seagate One Touch SSD

Photographers will appreciate Seagate's tiny SSD, which offers between a $109 500GB (pictured) to the $195 1TB of storage in an eminently portable design. Available in October.

11 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

Bocco Emo

This tiny, emotionally responsive gadget from Yukai Engineering will supposedly tilt its head and light up when it hears words like "happy" and other emotionally resonant phrases. You can also use it for two-way conversations between bots.

12 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

Wire guy from Arroe Brand wireless charging company

There's probably not a real guy in there.

13 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

BigBen Wireless Luminous Speaker

The soul of a unicorn, commercialized into an Alexa speaker with an LED light inside. 

14 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

Karcher Watering System Duo Smart Kit

An irrigation kit you attach to an outdoor faucet. It's designed to control two different sprinkler systems on a timer. Works with Alexa, naturally. 

15 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

iRobot Terra T7 robot lawn mower

Seen here in the pseudo-wild. We wrote this up a few months ago when iRobot first announced it.

16 of 23

Cybic E-Legend

It's a bike with Alexa in it. Sort of like Echo Auto, but Echo Bike.

17 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

SimpleHuman Sensor Mirror Hi Fi

It's a lamp, it's a mirror, it's an Amazon Alexa speaker. Comes out this year for $350.

18 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

Fenotek Hi) Pro S500 video doorbell

Definitely not a laser eye that'll slice you in half.

19 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET


We saw this at CES, but it's worth resurfacing this camera-equipped pin that can capture your baby's point of view (i.e. your exhausted face at three in the morning).

20 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

Senstroke Connected Sensors for Drummers

Clip these sensors to your drumsticks, and even your feet, to interact with a tablet-based app that mimics a drum kit. 

21 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

OnTracks GPS system

These GPS hand-wraps tell you when to turn via haptic feedback as well as the included screen. It looks like a good way for bicyclists to keep their eyes on the road.

22 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

Everybot floor cleaning robot

Two cleaning pads at the bottom of each Everybot swirl around to wipe grime from your floors. Not quite a robot vacuum, not quite a robot mop. 

23 of 23 Rich Brown/CNET

Circulus Pibo

Pibo knows. Pibo always knows. 

Maybe it's because Pibo's tag line is "Always with you." A microphone and camera-equipped robot that can take photos or record messages and share them with your friends. Pibo can also respond to certain verbal commands. From South Korea-based Circulus.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos