During our visit at the famous IFA trade show in Berlin we noticed a new concept: IFA Next. IFA Next is an innovation hub bringing together researchers, industry professionals, start-ups and retailers for a dynamic transfer of knowledge, information and business ideas. A complete hall was covered with innovative ideas and start-ups.
A very interesting start-up we met was Muuselabs. They recently released a Jukebox/speaker for kids on the market, called Jooki. Muuselabs brought together the advanced technology of a wireless speaker with a very child friendly design. The idea to make this jukebox is originated by the children of the founders. As marketing manager Isabelle Dro told us: “ My children like to hear all kinds of music , but since popular music for children is not found anymore on CD’s but on the internet we need to give them our smartphone. They get distracted by the smartphone’s screen and watch music or play games instead of listening to the music “. The Jooki solves this problem. It is a standalone wireless speaker with great sound and special features. It comes with different figurines that can be placed by the children on top of the Jooki. Each figure can be easily paired with a playlist, song, podcast, bedtime story … the possibilities are endless.
The music can be played from Spotify or Deezer playlists over Wi-Fi and can also be stored locally on the memory of the Jooki. With the Jooki parents can stay in control what the kids are listening to and no distractions such as smartphones come to play. The speaker has also decent technical specs. It has 2 passive radiators which give a good bass and 5W power. Its battery lasts up to 8 hours. The Jooki is splashproof and still has an aux and microSD slot on the back. The speaker comes also with an app that allows the parents to keep control of which music is linked to the figurines.
A second eye catching company at IFA Next was YOLK. YOLK is a young Kickstarter that makes solar charger solutions. Their newest project is called the Solar Cow Project. A solar station in the shape of a cow is placed at schools in a developing country. The cow charges a large amount of powerbanks that can be used for free by the local people for example charging their smartphone or communication devices.
In many countries in East Africa there is no direct access to electricity. People need to travel many hours before getting to a charging station to charge the batteries of their smartphones. For many local people, their smartphone is an important communication device or payment method. In total, families spent 10-20% of their income just to charge their cell phone.
By installing Solar Cows particularly at local schools, it is devised as a way to reward children to go to school and their parents to send them. In this way the project can also prevent child labour which is a significant problem in many developing countries. To learn more about YOLK or to back their Kickstarter campaign, please click here
It was a nice experience visiting IFA Next and we are excited to hear more from these 2 start-ups in the future