Boston Tech Watch: IKEA and Ori, Skyworks and Huawei & Massport and Turo

June 11, 2019

Quite a range of topics in this week’s batch of Boston technology news: robot furniture, male fertility, airport car rental spats, as well as the usual deals and acquisitions. Read on for more:

—Boston-headquartered robotics startup Ori Living and IKEA are collaborating on a line of furniture for small living spaces. The line, called Rognan, is built on Ori’s robotic platform and claims to be able to free up 8 square meters of additional living space by transforming a bedroom into a closet, a workspace and a living room, the companies say. “Instead of making the furniture smaller, we transform the furniture to the function that you need at that time. When you sleep, you do not need your sofa. When you use your wardrobe, you do not need your bed etc.,” says IKEA product developer for new innovations Seana Strawn. IKEA says the furniture line will launch in Hong Kong and Japan in 2020.

—Woburn, MA-based chipmaker Skyworks (NASDAQ: SWKS) says the US ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei will erase $60 million in sales for the next quarter and slash per-share earnings by 10 percent. Skyworks says it relied on Huawei for 12 percent of its sales in the first half of the fiscal year. The US Commerce Department on May 16 banned US companies doing business with Huawei due to the company being “involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests.” The decision follows months of unfruitful trade negotiations between the US and China and the arrest in Canada of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

—Legacy, a male fertility startup based at Harvard Innovation Labs that analyzes and cryogenically freezes sperm, has raised $1.5 million in funding from Bain Capital Ventures. Legacy offers customers the ability to have their sperm tested and frozen without visiting a clinic or consulting a doctor. Legacy arranges for testing samples to be picked up from users by a shipping partner.

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