Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears Price: $95.95 Rating: Recommend Animal hats have been something of a trend over the last year or so. Those of you who love those, or just enjoy dressing up as a cute character, will be interested in Necomimi. These brainwave controlled cat ears, created by a team comprised of an anthropologist, media artist, designer, producer, and neuroscientist, can detect your mood and express it through motion. Intrigued, we decided to try a pair on for ourselves. Assembly Minor assembly is required to get Necomimi working. First I had to unscrew the battery door. You don't need a screwdriver — a coin will work. The Necomimi requires four triple A batteries. Screw the battery door back in and fit the furry cat ears over the motors on the headset.
The headset is a bit on the heavy side with the battery pack, which is why it comes equipped with an active use strap that you wrap around the lower back of your head to keep it from slipping off.
Functionality Necomimi has three brainwave sensors that need to touch your skin directly in order to work. There's one for the forehead, where you can bend the arm to best place over your skin. You then place the ear clip onto your left ear lobe and put the wire behind your ear. Press the power button, which will light up blue and blink if you're low on battery. The Necomimi will start to calibrate immediately. While it's calibrating, one ear with perk up and the other will droop, trying to detect brain signals. It takes about 2 minutes for the calibration to stop and the Necomimi to determine what your mood is based on the electrical impulses your brain gives off. The kit comes with a guide to what the ear movement states mean. The ears will droop down slowly if you're in high relaxation. If you're alternating between focus and relaxation, the ears will perk up and droop down. If you're in high focus or interest, the ears will perk up quickly or perk up and wiggle. I seemed to be in high focus the whole time with the excitement of trying out the ears.
Conclusion: More of a novelty item for special events like the anime expo, Necomimi will also be showcased at Comic-Con in San Diego from today through Sunday, another appropriate place to be spotted in cat ears.
Pros: Easy assembly, fun to wear, novel new technology as fashion. Cons: Only for those into dressing up as characters, can become tiresome on the head after extended wear. Our Ratings: Strong Recommend Recommend Weak Recommend Don't RecommendApartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did loan us the product for testing and review purposes. (Images: Julienne Lin)