The brain-computer interface is taking a huge, dramatic step forward and moving into the consumer domain. The guys at Neurowear are working hard to bring their latest brain wave activated device to the fashionable stores by the end of the year. I have it right at the top of my Santa list. They are called Necomimi, Santa, mark it down now, please.

The prototype consists of a discreet headband that has a pair of furry cat ears mounted on it (1). Big deal, just another Anime character costume – I here you mutter, but remember that they are brain wave activated. If you are bored and disinterested in what you are looking at, the ears droop and you look fetchingly sad and clearly need attention. A fresh dish of caviar or perhaps freshening up your vodka-daiquiri would perk you up. As you feel more perky and interested, your cat’s-ears perk up in proportion.

Don’t dismiss this as a children’s toy. It is much more exciting than that. Open your mind to the possibilities. Picture a speed-dating event with everybody wearing these cat’s ears. There would be little pussy footing around. No need now for those little white lies and pretending to take down phone numbers. And think of the instant feedback potential; you could vary your line as his or her ears drooped.

They could be essential in every classroom throughout the land. No goofing off by students in the back row. But of course it goes both ways. Teachers and professors could be graded by an “ear-up count”. No longer any need for those tiresome questionnaires with unreliable answers.

The corporate meeting rooms would also benefit greatly. Those who have read the doc.s and ppt.s, and who have come loaded for bear, would show immediately that they were stand up guys, while the tag alongs who were disinterested and unprepared would be the droopy lot around the table.

The one proviso before launch is a government edict banning them from family-time gatherings. Some of us need to keep our illusions that our kids and spouses are interested in what we have to say.

The BBC video (1) shows how functional the Necomimi are. I dare say that some macho guys might prefer dog ears, perhaps of a Rotweiler design. I can hardly wait!

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13694911

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