So, we were in a restaurant the other day, when in walked a lady wearing ‘cat ears’…and they were moving up and down, and rotating, it seemed, without her touching them. She was alone, and looked to be in her twenties. After ordering her meal, she found a table to sit at, and began reading a book, or maybe playing a game on her ipad.
At another table, a group of ladies were curious about the cat ears, so one went over to ask about them. The cat ear lady got up, went over to the group table, where she was very happy to be demonstrating and explaining how they worked.
Of course, we could overhear parts of the conversation, with words like ‘I’m a geek’, and ‘the ears move with my brain waves’. Anyway, we finished eating, and had to leave. Later, I looked online to find out more about the ‘brainwave cat ears’ for humans.
As I’d never seen or heard of them before, I was surprised to find out that they are quite popular, especially with those people who participate in Cosplay, and also are purchased for costume parties, and general good fun. The ears are about 5″ tall and are made of fluffy, fake fur. They are attached to a headband, there is a small battery pack, and two sensors. One sensor touches your forehead, the other clips to one ear, and they are easily hidden by your hair.
The idea is that the sensors pick up electrical signals from your brain, causing the ears to move in several positions according to your mood…happy, excited, resting, and surprised. Experiments were done with volunteers to see if their emotions during the testing matched the ears movements…and they did.
The Neurowear company launched this product in Japan in 2012, calling it “Necomimi” which means ‘cat ears’. They sell for around $60 to $100, and you can also buy more ears to switch from cats, to foxes, dogs, and even devil horns. Of the reviews I read, there were only a couple of drawbacks…these being that the headband is small and not very adjustable, and that they are easily broken (it was not recommended for kids, because of this).
Would you like to wear ‘cat ears’ that show your moods…in public? I’m just silly enough, that I sure would…if not for the cost. Maybe I’ll put them on my wish list!
For a really cute video showing what the “Brainwave Cat Ears” are like you can see it here…the music is annoying, but it was really fun to watch! http://www.necomimi.com/WatchTheVideo.aspx