There's an exercise that's often used at the start of ideation workshops to get participants to warm up their creative thinking skills. It's called "worst possible idea" and how it works is just as the title suggests: for the problem statement you're trying to solve, come up with the worst possible ways to solve it. Break down why these ideas are terrible. Then try to turn those terrible ideas into good ideas. What tends to happen as a result is participants end up challenging assumptions, understanding the problem more deeply, taking a step back to see the bigger picture and coming up with truly creative alternative solutions.
Which takes us back to furry tail-wagging pillows. I really wouldn't be surprised if this product was once a "worst possible idea"; and whether or not it actually went through the rest of the exercise where you turn the bad idea into a good one is beyond me, but you have to admit, it is a creative - if not innovative - twist on therapy. You also have to give props to Yukai Engineering's history of delivering super-quirky and fun tech products: from educational robotics development platforms for kids to brainwave-controlled cat-ear headbands.
I'll also quietly admit I want one.
Do you enjoy the sensation of petting a cat or dog, but hate the unconditional love and the fact that they have heads and limbs? Japanese company Yukai Engineering has unveiled the solution to this classic conundrum with Qoobo: a soft, round cushion with a robotic tail that reacts to strokes, just as a loving pet would.