That's right, the people who brought you the Necomimi brainwave controlled ears have a new project — and one that could lend itself to be slightly more useful. A short while ago at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Nuerowear showcased their prototype Mico headphones — audio gear that not only plays music, but also creates a playlist of songs based on your mood.
The Neurowear Mico headphones caught my attention first with their styling, and only upon closer inspection I realized these models had a brainwave sensing bar attached to them. Intriguing! The people of Neurowear were giving demos of their prototype headphones that would theoretically make a custom playlist based upon the wearer's mood and brain waves!
The concept model displayed through a box of plexiglass possessed a very modern and sleek design with LEDs softly glowing on each earpiece. The prototype trial model however was a lot more barebones, and resembling the type of headset you might wear if you were a customer service receptionist.
Just like the Necomimi ears Julienne tested, the prototype headphones had a brainwave sensor bar that made contact with your forehead and another sensor you clip onto your left earlobe. With the headphones secured, a Nuerowear representative started the demo and the brainwave calibration started. With the iPhone display the headphones were connected to showing a mix of colors and a wheel of rotating songs. Was it gauging my reaction to the each of the songs? It'd be cool if it was.
The headphone cued up "Help!" by the Beatles for me — that elicited a chuckle from both me and the representative.
There's no current release date for the headphones as again, they are just in the preliminary development stages. Headphones currently are only pulling from a catalog of 100 songs. There could be a lot of power if this service connected with larger song databases of the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Pandora.
You still have to skip songs you don't like with the current prototype model, but it sure would be a neat feature if the headphones could detect your reaction to an individual song and like, dislike, or never play again on the fly. That also might be kind of creepy.
Where do you stand with brainwave sensing technology? Cool or scary?
(Images: Chris Perez)