A small Japanese start-up called Neurowear is marketing what it calls “Necomimi” — head-worn fashion gadgets that move in response to brainwaves. The company calls it “Augmented Human Body”. Or to put it in simpler terms: goddamn nekomimi cat ears that you can learn to control telepathically with your mind. This is serious science at work.
Videos and more information after the break.
The official site is lacking in polish and the English is lol-tastic, but the live trade show demonstrations look pretty legit:
The technology to measure brainwave is actually not that esoteric, especially when accurate localized readings are not required in this particular case. There are even a few toys that utilize brain-computer interfaces, such as Mattel’s Mindflex. Still, it takes the Japanese to apply it to nekomimi headwears.
There is a polished concept/promotion HD video of Necomimi posted on the site:
The marketing blurb from the website:
People think that our bodies have limitations,
but just imagine if we had organs that don’t exist,
and could control that new body?
We created new human organs that use a brainwave sensor.
Necomimi is the new communication tool
that augments the human bodies and abilities.
This cat’s ear shaped machine utilizes brainwaves
and expresses your emotional state before you start talking
Just put on Necomimi and if you are concentrating,
this cat’s ear shaped machine will rise.
When you are relaxed, your new ears lie down.
If you are concentrating and relaxing at the same time,
your new ears will rise and actively move.
In general, professional sports players demonstrate this ability the most.
What will happen when people show their feelings
even when they don’t express them?
Interesting? Ashamed? Scared?
In the beginning, people may feel strange,
however people quickly become accustomed to controlling their new ears
with their brainwaves. Right now, Necomimi can become a part of your body.
If the sensors in this thing are consistent enough, it is possible that with some focus training, moving the mechanical ears can become a conditioned reflex and a natural part of emotional display, much like how the brains of recipients of robotic prostheses adapt their neural pathways over time to the new interfaces.
The device is being marketed as a fashion accessory, but it still looks too cumbersome in the demonstration videos to excel in that role.
The people in the demonstrations appear to have a rather large and conspicuous piece of sensor pressed against their forehead, which presumably serves as a crude EEG. This ugly protrusion is not seen on the actress in the concept video, although it may have been strategically concealed by her long fringes.
The main body of the device resembles a headphone set with a rather large earpiece. You need plenty of hair to cover that up. That said, this is apparently still not the final retail version, so there’s still some room for improvement. Necomimi will go on sale at the end of the year.
Still, it’s good to know that there are people out there working hard at bringing anime cat girls to life.
This is how it all begins. Pretty soon these things will be surgically grafted onto babies the moment they are born. Transhumanism woot.