IFA 2018's quirky and cool gadgets

Cow trackers, chess bots and pleasure givers; the tech confab has its share of interesting products.

Andrew Lanxon
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Andrew Lanxon
1 of 21 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

High-profile companies like Huawei and Samsung tend to dominate the news at trade shows like IFA 2018, but when you hit the show floor, there's a wealth of quirky tech to be found.

First up, the Somnox smart pillow, which breathes in and out and, according to its maker, gives you a better night's sleep. 

2 of 21 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Tenuto is the latest vibrator from sex toy designer MysteryVibe. "It's a wearable vibrator for penises," MysteryVibe CEO Soumyadip Rakshit told me at the company's booth. "This bit tickles the balls." 

At that point, I wondered when I'd be mature enough to resist a childish smirk at two grown-ups talking about balls. I'm definitely not there yet.

The Tenuto is due to go on sale in October for $129.

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Artificial intelligence company AIBrain created this lifelike doll as a way of showing off some of its technology. She didn't look too pleased to see me.

4 of 21 Rich Brown/CNET

This robot is really here to show off its mechanical pincers. But it also plays a mean game of chess.

5 of 21 Katie Collins/CNET

Are you sometimes flummoxed as to whether you need to change your baby's diaper? The Opro9 SmartDiaper is here for you. Fix the app-connected silicone band to the outside of a diaper, and the sensor within will measure humidity and temperature, letting you know immediately when it needs to be changed. 

According to Opro9, this helps prevent wasteful diaper changes and nappy rash. The SmartDiaper comes in two different sizes, for babies and toddlers, as well as an adult size to help caregivers support the elderly or sick.

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Display company Royole employed a variety of concepts to show off its flexible screens. This top hat was rather fetching. 

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The previous slide's top hat would be great paired with this handbag.

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Blue Microphones' new Yeti Nano USB desktop mic is likely to become the mic of choice for all those Twitch streamers who make more money than I could ever hope to. 

It's on sale later this month for $99.

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Photography company Rollei isn't creating crystal balls to help tell your future, but instead to offer a way of creating quirky, artistic photographs that capture the world upside down. 

10 of 21 Ry Crist/CNET

The Merge Cube uses AR with the iPad to turn the cube into a variety of fun -- and educational -- experiences.

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OlloClip's neat snap-on lenses are now available for almost any smartphone. Instead of having to fit exactly to an iPhone or Galaxy phone, the new clip can be fixed like a clothes peg over any phone camera lens. 

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If you don't like waking up to a raucous alarm each morning, then maybe the Sensorwake 2 alarm clock from Bescent is more your thing. Using a variety of pods, you can wake up to a different aroma, such as fresh coffee. Lovely.

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If your car is too old to have a smart entertainment system built in, never fear. The "Chris" by German Autolabs is a smart assistant you can stick to your windscreen like a sat-nav device. 

You can send and receive message, make calls, and control your music, all with voice commands so you don't need to take your eyes off the road. 

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Polaroid launched the OneStep+ at IFA, but it was this gigantic version of its classic instant camera I was most interested in.

15 of 21 Rich Brown/CNET

This solar powered cow might look like a cheesemaker, but those cheeses down below are actually various devices that can be charged using solar energy.

They include a powerbank, a torch and a lighter, and the whole SunMade kit by Yolk is designed to bring helpful solar-powered gadgets to developing countries.

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"Extreme!" say the banners around this booth for action cameras. And what's more extreme than a man in socks and a tucked-in black shirt rapping loudly at a German tech conference? Nothing, that's what.

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Segway's Drift W1s are electric skates you wear on your feet. The company says there are "countless" ways to use them, and that evidently includes creating a dance routine while wearing them.

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Hate losing track of your cow? I know I do. That's why I'm so excited about these concept cow ear tags that let you track exactly where your favourite heifers have roamed to.

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At its press conference, LG showed off the Angelegs exoskeleton by one of its partner firms. The legs are designed to help with rehabilitation, but they apparently can also give you the power to launch a free kick like Ronaldo (or hoof a giant football into a crowd of people). Nice.

20 of 21 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

This concept sleep-wearable from Philips scans your "deep wave" signals, then plays gentle white noise designed to help keep you in a more refreshing deep sleep for longer.

Whether you can get to sleep in the first place with this thing on your head is another question entirely.

21 of 21 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Want to filter out air toxins on your cycle to work? Also want to look like a wastelands raider from any generic postapocalyptic movie? These masks from R-Pur will be right up your unusual street.

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