tech

Mind-controlled cat ears hitting shelves in Japan

71 Comments

The wait for communicating feelings via neural-controlled mechanical cat ears is finally near its end.

Japanese company neurowear, the world’s foremost leader in brain-controlled fashion accessories, announced it will release the consumer version of its brainwave-reading cat ear headband nekomimi later this month.

Neurowear introduced nekomimi with a teaser video released on YouTube last March that quickly perked the interest of media outlets worldwide and had the Internet masses purring with a collective: “take our money now.”

Nekomimi cat ears perk up when the wearer is concentrating and lie flat when the wearer relaxes, undoubtedly leading to a number of adorable situations with beautiful Japanese women similar to the one near the end of the video.

Neurowear describes the concept of Nekomimi on their 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. Nekomimi 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.”

The first batch of Nekomimi will be available for purchase at the neurowear booth during “Nico Nico Choukaigi” (Nico Nico Super Conference), a convention that will be held Makuhari Messi in Chiba from April 28-29.

They will be sold at a special discount price of 7,900 yen during the event, and then at a retail price of 8,980 yen after.

Neurowear has yet to announce a specific date for an international release, but judging by a picture on their Facebook page of a box of “North American version” Nekomimi, we imagine it won’t be much longer.

© RocketNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


71 Comments
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Now I’ve seen everything.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What's next a tail? I wonder if people buying this stuff have any significant brain activity to make it work properly.

20 ( +21 / -3 )

This already exists. It is called THE GOVERNMENT.

8 ( +9 / -3 )

I find it cute, charming and full of inspiration. It probably could have been invented only in Japan.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

so cool ha!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Although I don't intend to purchase a pair for myself, I have to say that I like this about Japan. It kind of perfectly sums up the strange and playful nature of the Japanese. It's an unashamed celebration of their quirky side. Imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same. Rrrrooooow!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This is copyright infringement. The Aum group invented this mind control head-set. This company just added ears to it. LOL!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Even when everything else fails, gotta love their tech!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For the time being I'm going to continue using eye contact while communicating with others. However, I would be in favour of someone developing a set of whiskers that'll enhance the wearer's spatial awareness - if it helped them avoid standing at the top of escalators or barging onto trains while others are still trying to alight.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Lyndon Green - Have you seen a man eat his own head? Then I'm guessing you haven't seen everything ;)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

just imagine if we had organs that don’t exist

???

9 ( +9 / -0 )

A Japanese woman needs to 'concentrate' to eat a donut...? They should show the ears while she tries to parallel park!

10 ( +11 / -2 )

i am waiting for the gundam suit version :p

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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.

The cat's ears may not be the only things to "rise"...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More importantly, we've been recently warned that dental X-rays can be the cause of brain tumors, that cell-phones can cause cancer when held to the ear - are these things "safe" ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan will now infect itself and the world with more sticky cuteness. I can't help but wonder if historians 500 years from now will point to "Kawai" as the seed that led to the downfall of all of civilization and the idiotification (a new word they will use) of the world.

How about inventing something useful?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Rather interesting, but it is a lot easier to read body language.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I need a pair for business purr-poses. Certainly a justifiable deduction.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More importantly, we've been recently warned that dental X-rays can be the cause of brain tumors, that cell-phones can cause cancer when held to the ear - are these things "safe" ?

these are just reading some sort of signal not emitting anything, it may work by measuring the pulse, no need for hi tech

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Make all of my staff wear them and cut out the long pointless discussions about how they feel

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"the world’s foremost leader in brain-controlled fashion accessories"

this sounds weird, out of a SF movie. I guess I'm getting old. The technology itself is amazing. I' waiting for the remote control, car, etc. using this.

Viking, the connection between cell phones and cancer has been made by a fraudulent scientist based on doctored data. it has been proved baseless, but it still remains in popular culture

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Otaku goldmine.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I guess I will need a bigger litter box

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The wait for communicating feelings via neural-controlled mechanical cat ears is finally near its end.

Now, there's a load off.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

a geek comment: of course it is not "mind controlled" in any direct way. up to now, all BCI (brain-computer interface) devices work because of muscle movement artifacts, such as scalp or face or tongue movement that produce signals much stronger than those from the brain. what this means is that unless you twitch your nose or real ears or move your tongue or scalp, it won't work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

all right, a penis you can wear on your head.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Takahirodomingo, that is a type of "mind control", since most body language is not controlled by will. The machine simply interprets through a medium, like language.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"We created new human organs..." But they're called cat ears, no? Then, they are not human organs.

This is sad, really. In a place where people find it difficult to communicate with other people openly, they resort to relying on gadgets. I don't find this fun or cute at all. I find it to be stupid at best. The reliance on entertainment and diversions here, as opposed to dealing with important issues, is really disturbing.

From Walkman to Nekomimi in 30 short years...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You've got to laugh.... only Japan can produce a product that registers the emotions, as the users are too cold and robotic to show any naturally !

6 ( +8 / -3 )

Wonder if these can glow in order to signal willingness to mate.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“People think that our bodies have limitations, but just imagine if we had organs that don’t exist, and could control that new body?"

This has got to be a translation problem... 'Imagine you have organs that don't exist'? And I'm not sure I would want those unexisting organs to control my new body.

Anyway, while this product is interesting, I'm not sure why anyone would want to wear their heart on their sleeve like that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They can make mind reading cat ears, but not a robot to go into Fukushima Dai-ichi and do something important. Outstanding.

2 ( +4 / -3 )

Clever as it is, it doesn't come close to the bow lingual device; http://www.japantrendshop.com/bowlingual-dog-voice-translator-p-720.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

but just imagine if we had organs that don’t exist

I am just trying to imagine how you can have something that does not exist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You've got to laugh.... only Japan can produce a product that registers the emotions, as the users are too cold and robotic to show any naturally !

maybe that's the point, while they can restrain themselves the cat ears can give away their "real" emotions

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I already have a mind controlled organ. I do not need any accessory to tell me how I am feeling....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I get the feeling this is 1% science and 99% marketing. Will it make money? Probably.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Might be helpful understanding toddlers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One could give a pair of these to the student(s) in class who are not doing well. This way, if they are not focused, the instructor can notice right away and help them focus. ^_^ Seriously, I might use these for that. Go Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bs. probably uses motion sensor a slight glitch on your hear triggers it. brainwaves my butt nonsense crap. and totally uselss device.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I get the feeling this is 1% science and 99% marketing. Will it make money? Probably.

Exactly. It is purrfect marketing. (sorry)

Just another gimmick to take people's money away. I doubt that someting that costs less than 1 man could actually do this with much accuracy but who knows..........

If they actually do work, let's make all the politicians and TEPCO guys wear them and strap lie detectors tests on them for every press conference. Just to be sure.............

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tairitsuiken, I agree with you that it is stupid and people avoiding the big issues is indeed a huge problem in Japan if not the world these days but still gotta love these quirky gimmicks. They really do say something about Japan. Personally if I ever bought one myself, I think I would also consider checking myself into a funny farm the very same day but if people are interested/stupid enough to buy them, then so be it. Something has to kickstart the economy, even if it is in small ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nobody ever went broke by overestimating the gullibility of Japanese women.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

tkoind2APR. 17, 2012 - 09:03AM JST Japan will now infect itself and the world with more sticky cuteness. I can't help but wonder if historians 500 years from now will point to "Kawai" as the seed that led to the downfall of all of civilization and the idiotification (a new word they will use) of the world. How about inventing something useful?

You sound concerned. Just cope and get on with your day. Why be concerned?

There are so many more important things to be concerned about that effect society that we choose to ignore. Why not put that attention to those issues instead of being concerned about something like this which isn't causing any real harm to anyone.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

i wonder when the first cat attack will happen, strange big cat in my neighbourhood!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can just imagine how many high school teachers would be disappointed if these were worn by students in class... Attention everyone, perk up those ears or you're going to detention!

Crazy but kawaii!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't think these will work for my wife. She gets this crease between her eyebrows when she's concentrating (well, mostly when she's angry). The crease work very well and doesn't need batteries or a scientist to tell me it works.

It isn't cute though and usually means it is time for a beer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What about mindless girls? Do the ears stay permanently down?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They sound very cute and I'm sure the younger generation (and a few old fogies) are going to enjoy them.

But if it is true mind reading then to me there is the sinister implication of being able to read a persons private thoughts for purposes other than fun.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Patrick Smash

check the web for pictures then you know why :p

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Finally! Helps make women easier to tell! Like tricking a bell onto a cat, haha!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I didnt think anything could beat that headline; then I read the article's first sentence

The wait for communicating feelings via neural-controlled mechanical cat ears is finally near its end.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This will be a million seller.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

do they have the horn version for the men ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A round of applause for whoever wrote this - a perfect ( or should I say "prrrfect"? ... Nah.) balance of gentle, tongue-in-cheek mockery, and successful product promotion. Nicely done!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gonna get a pair for the misses so she can go nyan

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why yes. Yes I have been waiting to communicate my feelings via neural-controlled cat ears!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ivan Coughanoffalot as always on the money!!!

keep then coming!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That's it? They perk up when concentrating and lay flat when relaxed? Two lousy positions that indicate nothing special? I am not even sure what they would look like in those positions.

My impression is that a cat lays its ears flat when its ticked off or annoyed. Now THAT would be useful! Go to the club and steer clear of the women with ears pinned flat. It would make them far easier to spot and avoid yo!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's it? They perk up when concentrating and lay flat when relaxed? Two lousy positions that indicate nothing special? I am not even sure what they would look like in those positions.

If you'd watch the trailer video linked in the article, then you'd know EXACTLY what they look like in those positions. The ears rotate forward and down in the "flat" position, unlike a cats ears, which pull back and down. IMHO the "lay flat" position makes them look like floppy dog ears rather than cat ears.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Coming to a neko maid cafe near you...

I think that there are a lot more useful applications for extending the human body's capabilities than this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess they don't work if you're blonde? Going to really hurt the marketing potential outside of Asia....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

must be a cool gadget

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess they don't work if you're blonde?

Haha I see what you did there!

At roughly $100 per set, this is not going to be something kids are going to be wearing all over town. I guess the key is whether it really IS monitoring brain wave activity or just picking up muscle twitches. In some of the prototype pictures you clearly see a contact touching the center of the forehead. In the demo video, the model has her hair parted and there's no front contact visible. Either they've refined the sensors to allow a more unobstrusive brainwave detection, or have changed what it senses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think a tail that flicks when one is annoyed might be a nice extension.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm having a fun time right now, imagining a certain teacher or boss requiring everyone else to wear one of these just to see how many are really drifting off to dreamland.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I didnt think anything could beat that headline; then I read the article's first sentence

The wait for communicating feelings via neural-controlled mechanical cat ears is finally near its end.

Lieberman, you are aware that this article is supposed to be tongue in cheek, right?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In a country where eye-to-eye contact is almost an offense, these cat ears will help a lot. What's next? Ant antennas? Dog tails?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Daisan:

" What's next a tail? I wonder if people buying this stuff have any significant brain activity to make it work properly. "

Absolutely, tail is next. Lets hope only cute girls wear it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nya i would love a pair of cat ears it would make it a lot of fun to be petted with cat ears :P to press my ears against my head in appreciated and relaxation :D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have you seen the video? Imagine, guys, a cute girl looks at you and you see her cat ears perk up. Your day just got better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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