Brain wave controlled cat ears, dubbed necomimi, a combination of the Japanese words for cat and ears, could soon become the latest must have accessory to be seen on the streets of Galway, Tokyo and New York City.
The engineer behind the ears, Tokyo based company Neurowear say they have created new human organs that express your emotional state before you start talking. The ears react to brainwaves allowing the user to wiggle them by concentrating. When the wearer concentrates the ears stand to attention, when in a more relaxed state, the ears lie down or flap.
On the Neurowear website they say, “It’s the new communication tool that augments human body and ability.” Necomimi are built around the concept of abolishing the limitations of the human body and exploring the development of new organs that don’t yet exist.
A set of Necomimi consists of a headband that contains a brain wave sensor connected to an EEG sensor that can be attached to the forehead of the wearer, this EEG then sends this signal to the two cat ears that react to the brainwaves.
This technology really is in its infancy and at this point purely for aesthetic purposes, with few practical uses for Necomimi. However once the novelty wears off this technology could be used for more beneficial applications such as health care.
The technology could enhance interactions for someone otherwise unable to communicate or with limited communication abilities such as patients of “locked-in” syndrome.
There have been other products previous to this that react to electrical impulses in the head such as Neurosky’s “Star Wars Force Trainer” toys and brainwave controlled wheelchairs.
Necomimi are currently at the prototype stage and price and colour have yet to be agreed upon but they are set to be released at the end of this year with information and updates promised through their Facebook page.