— Wearable Electronics
Necomimi brain-activated cat ears hit the U.S.
Necomimi feature NeuroSky's brain-computer interface technology to control the motion of the cat ears
NeuroSky’s brain-computer interface (BCI) technology has found its way into a variety of devices over the last few years, from the MyndPlay media player and MindSet video game headset to the XWave and XWave Sport. The latest product sporting the company’s brainwave-reading technology features a slightly more fun form factor – fluffy, wearable cat ears that move in response to the wearer's emotional state.
After being unveiled by fashion electronics company Neurowear in Japan earlier in the year, the Necomimi fittingly got their official U.S. launch at this month’s Comic-Con in San Diego. Like other products powered by Neurosky’s BCI technology, Necomimi have an EEG (electroencephalograph) sensor that sits in contact with the forehead to detect electrical impulses transmitted through the skull and an ear clip that grounds the device to improve the signal.
The device is designed to recognize three different emotional states and moves the cat ears accordingly. When something catches the wearer’s attention, the ears sit straight up and when they are relaxed, the ears droop down. Then, when the wearer is “in the zone” and is both highly focused and relaxed at the same time, the ears will wiggle back and forth.
The video below shows just how handy (and apparently inconspicuous) Necomimi are in everyday life.
Necomimi are priced at US$99.95.
About the Author
Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
All articles by Darren Quick
Jeebus! All that power to wiggle some fuzzie cat ears? Nothing a bit MORE PRACTICAL??
I assume this googah was invented to prove the tech rather than amuse dorks with more money than sense. Or perhaps I'm overly optimistic.
How does one observe something like this and judge it on merits such as being practical? That is like saying the Mona Lisa was a time consuming method to color a canvas or saying Michelangelo was the wrong contractor to apply paint to the Sistine chapel because others could have painted it all one color for less money.
Those ears or something like them could be used to show when it is safe to interrupt somebody without disrupting his chain of thought.
As much as a waste of time you find the cat ears to be, don't you think it really is amazing? Brain control in a TOY?!
What will your kids be playing with if we can do this sort of thing?
There has already been a brain controlled skateboard, and now brain controlled ears.
It means the technology has been figured out and is now cheap to produce Next the controller will just get smaller and smaller.
I actually saw these Memorial Day weekend, at Fanime, in San Jose California. So, Comicon will not actually be the first time they're available in the United States.
I agree, they are a silly waste of tech, money, and power, BUT imagine a Texas Hold'em tournament where they are required for all players! That would be better than cheerleaders! LOL!
Well... personally I'd rather have the doughnut she was eating! Interesting technology, strange application of it.
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