CES 2019: 7 Innovative Japanese Startups You Should Check

CES 2019 is approaching fast. The largest consumer tech event of the year will be here before you know it, packing 180K attendees and over 4,500 exhibitors at the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you’re crafting your to-do list for the show, make sure these cool Japanese startups are on it.

CES 2019 will take place on Jan 8 — Jan 11, 2019 in Las Vegas

The four-day event is scheduled to start on January 8 with nail-biting presentations, keynotes, and most of all, latest tech products’ showcases. However, it is easy to get lost between hundreds of conference sessions and meet with all exhibitors.

If you’re curious about what kind of trendy solutions Japanese startups are planning to showcase at CES 2019, check out our picks developing everything from cat litter boxes to moon surface exploration robots.

Throwback to last year: Japanese Hardware Startups at CES 2018 to Watch for

Smart Shopping

The first batch of SmartMat (around 10,000 products) was made in Kyoto, Japan and recently manufactured in China, supported by Makers Boot Camp.

Smart Shopping fancies itself as a shopping concierge that helps to eliminate time-consuming manual tasks. Tokyo-based startup develops this all-in-one smart scale that can automatically reorder stocks of items like coffee beans, office paper, liquids and many other basic routine products when running low. The device called SmartMat utilizes an efficient, cost saving technology with build-in sensors and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Main customers are in the B2B space, specially small and medium businesses that must avoid manual re-stocking, but also hospitals and factories where human handling should be avoided, in order to avoid contamination or other safety issues.

Where to find the Smart Shopping booth: Sands, Hall G — 52979, (Eureka Park Marketplace)


Cat owners around the globe will definitely appreciate the idea of monitoring their pet’s health and wellbeing. Winner of Hardware Cup 2018 and participant of Monozukuri Tour, Tokyo startup Hachitama develops the world’s first toilet for cats based on the Internet of Things (ioT). Built-in sensors automatically capture and analyze data about a pet’s urine, along with a body weight and other vitals. If abnormalities are detected, the cat’s owner receives a notification via smartphone.

Where to find the Hachitama booth: Sands, Hall G — 51075, (Eureka Park Marketplace)

If you are interested in other pet tech solutions: NYC-startup PlayDate aims to rescue your pet from loneliness and boredom!

mui lab

Nobuyasu Hirobe from mui Lab showcases mui panel at the Monozukuri Hub Meetup In Kyoto

Smart screens with a futuristic makeover are not trendy anymore. The hottest new display from mui Lab is a simple block of wood that allows you to exchange messages, check news and control connected devices, like lighting, thermostats, and so on. The beautiful wooden panel blends in with the room’s interior, protecting your personal space and time from digital distractions. Mui`s Kickstarter campaign is now live, with the goal of raising USD 100K and starting limited sales to backers in December.

Where to find mui Lab`s booth: Sands, Hall G — 51075, (Eureka Park Marketplace)

If you are interested in other smart-house solutionsAtmoph, Digital Window for Travelers


Rechargeable battery in the bottle maintains the perfect temperature for four hours.

Load-Road strives to simplify tea brewing and enhance tea-drinking experience. After successfully raising initial funds on Kickstarter, its team developed a portable bottle equipped with a heater, thermos-sensor and Bluetooth module to communicate with devices. The product name, Teplo — that means ‘warm’ in both Czech and Russian, reflects the company’s core mission — to warm users’ drinks and their lives.

Check out more: Teplo pitch at our Monozukuri Hub Meetup Tokyo

Where to find the Load-Road booth: Sands, Hall G — 51075, (Eureka Park Marketplace)

Yukai Engineering Inc.

Robotics company Yukai Engineering Inc. have created a number of cute robots and other fun gadgets. It gained worldwide attention after co-creating headband Necomimi that uses brainwaves to move the ears and desktop robot Bocco for sending short messages to parents. The latest robot, Qoobo, looks like a soft pillow with a tail that reacts to strokes. It provides users with a sensation of petting a furry animal and warming the heart the way animals do.

Where to find the Yukai Engineering Inc. booth: LVCC, South Plaza — 60015

Ispace Inc.

The robot’s name Hakuto means ‘white rabbit’ in Japanese. According to the folklore, a white rabbit lives on the Moon.

The moment of humanity’s dream to land on the moon surface is drawing closer. Promoting itself as a front runner in a lunar robotic exploration, ispace wants to establish low-cost transportation services for future moon travelers. Born out the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, it is famous for a lunar robot Hakuto which aluminum parts have been made by our Kyoto-based manufacturer partner Hilltop. Not long ago, ispace founders stirred up the global community by announcing their plans of launching a spacecraft into lunar orbit by 2019 and completing a soft landing by 2020.

Where to find ispace Inc.`s booth: Sands, Hall G — 51075, (Eureka Park Marketplace)

Read more: How to find Japanese manufacturers to work with?


FutuRocket’s CEO, Hiroumi Mitani pitching at the Monozukuri Hub Meetup in Tokyo

As more and more new smartphones are created each year, there is an unintended glut of still capable yet less desirable old analogue phones. With an aim to make technology accessible for all and also find resources that will be used for longer, FutuRocket is working on the hackfon, an IoT device that converts the cheap old-school phone into the smart gadget. By pressing a few buttons or dialling on the phone, users can interact with other smart devices and web services quickly.

Just In Case: FutuRocket and other startups pitched at Monozukuri Hub Meetup in Tokyo

Where to find FutuRocket`s booth: Sands, Hall G — 51075, (Eureka Park Marketplace)

Read more: The work culture in Japan and how it feels to be part of a local startup community