Necomimi from Neurowear are wearable cat ears that use sensors to move according to your current mood. Why would anyone want to wear them? Because they are weird, hilarious and incredibly fun. The ears rest on an adjustable headband that has one sensor on a wand that touches your forehead, and one more sensor clipped onto your earlobe, which sounds a lot more awkward than it is actually is. Then you press the power button – the small blue light in the photo above – on the battery pack above your real ear, and the cat ears wiggle to life! Here is a slightly dark video of me with my Necomimi ears wiggling.
The website explains that the headband sensors read electrical impulses given off by neurons in the brain, interpreting them with attention and meditation algorithms. I spoke to sales director David Chung at the Necomimi launch party in West Hollywood last week and he filled me in on some details: the ears droop when the wearer is relaxed, and pop up when he is alert or excited. They also twitch back and forth when he’s doing something instinctively, like someone “in the zone”. Chung admitted that the designers also threw in a tendency to twitch occasionally, just like real cat ears, for fun. He proceeded to test me while I had them on, asking me a question that made me keep track of the number of people on a bus as they got off and on. My friend noticed that the ears twitched while I was calculating and then stood up whenever I got my answer.
Chung also shared a story about two flirting people at Comic-Con whose ears went up straight when he asked them separately what they thought about each other. Could be useful at a bar…
(more pics after the jump)
There are also companies such as the soon-to-be-launched Emoki that create designer ears for Necomimi. Because the soft, padded cat ears simply slide on and off the rotating knobs underneath, there are all kinds of possibilities for what they can be replaced with. Aside from other animal ears, they could be anything from horns to elf ears, antlers, antenna… What about two unicorn horns?? I’m thinking Halloween will never be the same again. Although Necomimi is currently $97 on Amazon, so you might have to save up a bit.
Photos by yours truly