Breathe together with the robot pillow
From the team that brought you the weird and wonderful robot cat pillow comes an equally weird and wonderful breathing pillow. Japanese boutique robotics firm Yukai Engineering returns to CES with Fufuly, following in Qoobo’s footsteps, literally breathing a little life into a cushion.
The hardware startup says that the product uses “respiratory entrainment,” which refers to a phenomenon where the rate of a patient’s breathing matches that of a ventilator. Here, that basically means that the person’s breathing matches the robot’s cushion, and not the other way around.
Yukai says the product was developed based on research from the University of Tokyo. Certainly much has been written about the power of the breath to improve mental state and reduce anxiety. It is precisely the reason why breathing is so linked to meditation, for example.
There’s no app, and really, not much intelligence here (and unlike the Qoobo, it doesn’t respond directly to user input). Instead, it cycles through three modes: regular, deep, and a third designed to help the user relax.
According to the website Fullfully [translated from the Japanese], “It is very easy to use. Turn it on and hug it. This is all you need.” I wish the rest of life could be that simple. Like previous Yukai products, the pillow will be released through a crowdfunding campaign. There’s no word on pricing as of yet, though CEO Shunsuke Aoki tells me that the product will likely cost more than the Qoobo, which is currently priced at just over $100.
Also new to the show is Lightony, a robotic lamp designed to “sleep” with the user.