When you see a cat or dog, the wagging tail or arched back can immediately tip you off to the animal's mood. Can technology make it as easy to read people?
That's the idea behind the Necomimi, a pair of brain-wave sensing robotic cat ears made by Japanese company Neurowear. The fuzzy motorized ears are built atop headset technology created by San Jose, Calif.-based NeuroSky. It relies on electroencephalography from a single sensor placed on the forehead to read a person's brain waves and communicates with a nearby PC or Mac with a wireless USB plug-in to determine if a person is focused or relaxed. If the wearer is focused, the attached ears stay erect. When relaxed, the ears face down.
Earlier this year, Neurowear made a cutesey video of the ears that became a small hit on the Web, generating 1.6 million views (a lot of people could probably identify, as the girl in the video checks out an attractive guy, and her robotic ears move). Neurowear's original intent was to make only one pair, but after the gimmick attracted so much attention online, the company decided to produce a line of robotic ears.
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Tansy Brook, a spokesperson for NeuroSky, visited CNET headquarters in San Francisco earlier this month to show off the third prototype of the ears and give me a chance to try them on. … Read more