Halloween decorations and candy may already be on display in stores across town, but one of the year’s hottest Halloween costume ideas may be harder to find – brainwave “cat ears” that move in accordance with your mood and attentiveness. Think a mood ring that you wear on your head and you’ll begin to get the idea.
Japanese company Neurowear has a created a pair of plush cat ears, called Necomimi, that can react to a person’s moods.
A person wears a headset that includes a censor against the forehead. That censor can detect brainwave patterns and sends a corresponding signal to the ears worn on the head. Ears perk up when the wearer is alert, droop down when the user is relaxed and wiggle up and down when the user is enjoying something or “in the zone.”
“If you go to the hospital, they can measure your EEG, your brain waves. Our sensor does the same thing,” said Stanley Yang, CEO of NeuroSky which owns Neurowear, during a launch party in Weho. “Basically, we have shrunken a piece of medical equipment into a little chip, kind of like people shrank a big computer into a little chip. It’s not as accurate as medical devices, but you don’t need to if you’re just trying to have fun.”
The Necomimi cat ears launched in Japan in May to huge success. The ears made their U.S. debut at San Diego’s Comic-Con in July.
So far, demand is far outpacing supply, but NeuroSky is stepping up production for the Halloween rush.
The cat ears are available for purchase on the Necomimi website and other online retailers. Just Google Necomimi brainwave cat ears. Prices start at $99.
Area costume and party stores should begin stocking the ears shortly, just in time for Halloween.
At the moment, only white cat ears are available, but the company intends to launch other colors of ears as well as bat ears.