Tuesday 20 July 2021

Necomimi cat ears move to reflect your emotions

Necomimi cat ears are a Japanese invention by Neurowear. You wear them on your head but the clever bit is that they incorporate a brain sensor which allows the device to pick up your emotions and the ears move accordingly. 

Necomimi cat ears respond to your emotions

 Necomimi cat ears respond to your emotions. Picture in public domain.

They seem to be a bit of a cult cat product because in the UK as there is a set of the last unit of the first ever batch on sale for £1000 on eBay! I think the normal cost of the Necomimi brainwave cat ears in the UK is about £90. Back in 2012 it appears that the price was $99 in the US.

They also have a loudspeaker which emits purring or meowing but it can be turned off. They are a novelty product. That's the way I see it. They are for cat lovers who want to amuse their partners, perhaps at a party. They make a good present to a partner if they are particularly keen on domestic cats. The word Necomimi is derived from 'neko' and 'mimi' meaning 'cat ears'.

Apparently, they've been out of stock for a while but you can (or will be able to) buy an upgraded pair from Neurowear via online retailers. They've created a new and improved version and they're currently going through a crowdfunding campaign which is going well by the way. 

Neurowear is a gadget project organisation in Japan built on the idea that you can augment the human body. Necomimi is their first project.

The ears read the brainwaves through a sensor on the left forehead (see photo above) and the headband is connected to the left ear lobe (not sure why!). The ears turn up or down based on the wearer's electroencephalogram (electrical potentials recorded at the scalp) which are influenced by the wearer's emotions and thoughts. 

The headband is manufactured by NeuroSky. They run for four hours on four AAA batteries.

The ears are interchangeable between cat, dog and devil horn ears. Comment: there has been a little bit of a trend with wearing cat ears in Japan. I have noticed this. The Japanese do like cuteness. It is part of their culture. Wearing cat ears makes the wearer look cute. In Japan the culture of cuteness is called Kawaii. Kawaii is popular because it is an escape from long working hours and social pressures. It allows adults to emulate youth.

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