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    Cat Ear Device Controlled by Brainwaves


    by NTDTelevision

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    The technology to control objects just by thinking about them is being developed in labs all over the world. But in Japan, a neuro-technology company is taking serious brainwave science and turning it into fun.

    In Tokyo, they're all ears for the latest in hi-tech fashion.

    The headware is called "Necomimi" - or cat ears in Japanese. And it doubles as a communication device.

    Necomimi can be controlled by the wearer's thoughts and emotions.

    Necomimi was created by a company called Neurowave. They're using basic, non-invasive neuroimaging technologies and adapting them for the fashion world.

    Apart from the ears, Necomimi has two brain-wave sensors that can read the emotions of the wearer.

    Red brain waves show nervousness or concentration. Green waves indicate a relaxed state of mind.

    The ears shoot up when the wearer is nervous or focused. They flatten when the wearer is relaxed.

    When a person is relaxed but also focussed on a specific activity like a game or reading a book, the ears swirl around in a circle. When brain activity is low, the ears just flap gently back and forth.

    One of the creators of Nekomimi says she wanted to come up with a communication device that could be enjoyed by everyone. And in Japan, cats are popular.

    [Kana Nakano, Neurowear Planner]: (female, Japanese)
    "When cats are frightened or want to scare away an enemy, they flatten their ears. But with Necomimi, flat ears mean a relaxed state of mind. So we have changed the meaning to suit human perceptions. To humans, when cat ears flatten, it's kind of cute."

    The science of neuro-control is being developed in labs all over the world. The aim is to help the disabled or victims of "locked-in" syndrome.

    Neurowave says it plans to launch the Necomimi internationally later this year at a price of several hundred dollars per unit.