Japanese company Neurowear makes a new version of its Necomimi headband, a portable device that reads your brain waves to … move robotic cat ears. You can think of them as a mood ring for nerds and uh, anyone who feels like replaying Cats (2019).
Necomimi comes from Japanese words neko and cute, which literally translate with cat ears. The device has a main headband with fuzzy ears, then there are sensors that sit on your forehead and clip onto your left ear. Sensors supposedly read your brain waves and get moving the ears depending on how you feel. For example, the ears will straighten up if you are focusing on something and they “to sleep” (or folding) when you are relaxed. In a “neutral” mode, the ears will contract. And if you are “in the zone” the ears will float left and right in unison.
For the most part, it’s the same as the Neurowear version released in 2012. This time around, however, the company has added speakers. This means that it meows and purrs when you are focused or relaxed. The materials of this new version are also presented as being lighter and more compact. At present, It is to be crowdfunding, and with 41 days left in the campaign, he’s already surpassed his goal of 500,000 yen by 383%.
But why. Why is this a thing? According to the company, it’s about helping people communicate their emotions better in a non-verbal way by “extending soul and body.” The company also says it’s a useful tool for people who have trouble expressing what they are feeling, and it is useful as a visual tool for people to recognize when they are in relaxed or focused states. Mthe most important is “Because everyone will be cute” by wearing them. Examples Neurowear gives are dads with “perpetually scary faces” or your friend who is. looked tired lately.
But let’s be realistic. Would you really wear one in real life? Cat ears, while undeniably cute, are also a magnet for the weird and scary. Once when I was 14 I wore cat ears because it was a cute thing people did on the internet. My reward was a sweaty old man in a Naruto costume who patted me on the head, calling me a “good neko-chan”. Not having learned my lesson, I bought these ridiculous cat ear headphones on a whim and was heavily ridiculed by co-workers on a Zoom call. (Look, OK, the battery is dead on my normal.)
On its crowdfunding page, Neurowear lists the different scenarios for wearing the Necomimi. They are confusing and absurd. For example, smelling things, getting extremely literal with the cat pose in yoga, traveling, video conferencing, picking out your clothes, v-tube, Appointment, study, cook, play cards … and play bowling?!? Isn’t the interest of poker do not let go of your emotions? The reason this looks for bowling is to see if you can get your body “in the box”. Players may wear them at their own risk. The internet is a horrible place full of creepers. I’m sure your boss will appreciate knowing if you feel relaxed at your next Zoom meeting thanks to your … cat ears. It will also happen in a shattering way on a first date. Of course. (If so, you might want to consider running unless it’s something you’ve agreed upon beforehand.)
Of all the reasons Neurowear gives, the one that makes the most sense is meowing and purring with your cat. Although, if my cat is an indication, I am on he was staring at me as if I had completely lost my marbles.