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Neurowear is a gadget project organization in Japan founded on the concept of the "Augmented Human Body".[1] The group's first project, known as Necomimi (from nekomimi (猫耳, "cat ear(s)")) is a headband with a brain wave sensor and motorized cat shaped ears programmed to turn up or down based on the wearer's electroencephalogram (electrical potentials recorded at the scalp) influenced by "thoughts and emotions".[2] neurowear collaborated with Qosmo and Daito Manabe on "unboxxx" exhibition in July 2012 at Gallery KATA Ebisu.[3][4]


Boy wearing Necomimi cat ears

Necomimi is a headband with a MindWave brain wave sensor manufactured by NeuroSky[5] and motorized cat shaped ears programmed to turn up when the wearer concentrates and to turn down when he or she relaxes. It runs for 4 hours on 4 AAA batteries and has interchangeable Cat, Dog, and Devil Horn ears.[6] In November 2011, Time Magazine selected necomimi as one of the 50 best inventions of the year.[7][8] Necomimi received a Honorary Mention in the Interactive Art category of 2013 Prix Ars Electronica.[9]

NeuroSky rejected neurowear's partnership proposal, but neurowear went ahead with the May 2011 announcement[10] that necomimi would be released internationally by the end of 2011 "at a price of several hundred dollars."[2] The viral popularity of the simulated promotional video brought NeuroSky back to the table.[10]

Necomimi was demoed at Gadget Show Live in April 2012.[11] necomimi was launched in Japan at the Nico Nico Cho-Kaigi at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City on April 28, 2012.[12][13][14] Ayaka Komatsu modeled the ears on April 29, 2012.[15] The US price is $99.95.[16] necomimi was sold at Japan Expo in July 2012 for €150.[17]

While there are few official ear options available, individual crafters create a variety of ear covers, including bear, fox, wolf, bunny ears, and commissioned pieces with a variety of colors.[18][19][20] Many of these are sold at conventions, through Etsy, and other online websites.

Limited edition necomimi were created to promote The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki. The ears' color matches the titular wolf children.[21] Another limited edition was created by Nobuki Hizume and modeled by Nagisa.[22] Anderson Cooper has a Yoda pair.[10] A Green Bay Packers fan replaced the ears with cheese wedges.[23]

Necomimi premiered in the U.S. at FanimeCon in May 2012,[citation needed] and launched in the U.S. at San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2012.[24] Christina Bonnington reviewed the headband for Wired.[25] Andrew Tarantola reviewed it for Gizmodo.[6] Betsy Isaacson reviewed it for The Huffington Post.[23]

Brain Disco[edit]

Brain Disco is a collaboration between neurowear and Qosmo that measures audience "attention." The DJ must hold the audience's "attention" or get ejected. The first Brain Disco experiment was held in July 2012 at Gallery KATA Ebisu.[3][4][26]


Neurowear demonstrated their new prototype Shippo ("tail") at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2012.[27][28][29][30][31] Shippo was developed with Kiluck Inc..[32] Kiluck failed to fund a similar tail "Tailly" on Kickstarter but is trying again on Indiegogo.[32][33][34] The tail wags like a dog based on the user's mood communicated from the headset wirelessly via Bluetooth.[30][31] neurowear also showed an iPhone app that uploads the user's mood to social media complete with geotagging.[35]

Neuro Turntable[edit]

Neurowear presented Neuro Turntable at ROKURO Music×Interactive×Party Volume.2 at SuperDeluxe in Roppongi on December 1, 2012.[36]


Neurowear introduced mico "music inspiration from your subconsciousness" at SXSW Trade Show in March 2013.[37][38] They are headphones that pick music based on brain waves.[39][40][41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "neurowear". neurowear. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  2. ^ a b Kawase, Chiaki (16 May 2011), Some feline fun with hi-tech headgear, Reuters, retrieved 16 May 2011
  3. ^ a b "x music". neurowear. 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  4. ^ a b "KATA | unboxxx #2 "body and mind"". 2012-07-26. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  5. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri (18 July 2011), "Robotic cat ears for humans, an ears-on test", Crave, CNET, retrieved 24 August 2011
  6. ^ a b "Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears Review: Why You Need Psychic Cyborg Animal Ears". Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  7. ^ “necomimi” selected “TIME MAGAZINE / The 50 best invention of the year”
  8. ^ The 50 Best Inventions: Smart Cat Ears, Time Magazine, 28 November 2011, retrieved 12 January 2011
  9. ^ Austria (2013-02-14). "Ars Electronica | Prix Ars Electronica". Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  10. ^ a b c "Necomimi: How Mind-Controlled Cat Ears Made It From An Otaku Fangirl's Dream To A $99 Reality". 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  11. ^ Gadget Show Live set to be bigger than ever at NEC, Express & Star, 21 February 2012, retrieved 7 March 2012
  12. ^ "neurowear". neurowear. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  13. ^ Kee, Edwin (2011-05-21). "Necomimi mind-controlled cat ear headband". Ubergizmo. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  14. ^ "neurowear". neurowear. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  15. ^ "neurowear". neurowear. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  16. ^ "Necomimi Store". Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  17. ^ "Dear necomimi fans in Europe". neurowear. 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  18. ^ Parry, Laurence (2012-10-29). "Fluffy ear startup Emoki faces stiff competition". Flayrah. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  19. ^ Peach, Sasha. "SewPeach". Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  20. ^ Peach, Sasha. "Necomimi Ear Cover".
  21. ^ "The Wolf Children, Ame And Yuki". neurowear. 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  22. ^ "NOBUKI HIZUME x necomimi". neurowear. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  23. ^ a b "Necomimi: A Reporter Tames Mind-Controlled Cat Ears (VIDEO)". 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  24. ^ Netburn, Deborah (2012-07-13). "Necomimi's plush cat ears perk up when you're interested". Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  25. ^ Bonnington, Christina (2012-07-13). "Become Your Own LOLcat With Brainwave-Controlled Kitty Ears | Gadget Lab". Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  26. ^ "Brain Disco by neurowear x Qosmo". neurowear. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  27. ^ "at Tokyo Game Show 2012". neurowear. 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  28. ^ 09/25/2012 12:14 pm EDT (2012-09-25). "Shippo, Japanese Wagging Tail, Supposedly Syncs With User's Mood, Social Media (VIDEO)". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  29. ^ Hornyak, Tim (2011-10-25). "Mind-controlled robot tail lets you wag when happy | Crave - CNET". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  30. ^ a b Netburn, Deborah (2012-09-24). "Mind-reading tail lets you wag when you're happy, just like a dog". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  31. ^ a b Jeff Blagdon (2012-09-21). "Shippo motorized tail wags with your brain waves (hands-on video)". The Verge. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  32. ^ a b "shippo / neurowear". Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  33. ^ ""Tailly", the tail that wags when you get excited by Shota Ishiwatari — Kickstarter". 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  34. ^ "Tailly: The tail that wags when you get excited".
  35. ^ "Neurowear wants to read your mind, geotag your feelings (video)". Engadget. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  36. ^ "talks at ROKURO". neurowear. 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  37. ^ ""mico" World premier at SXSW". neurowear. 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  38. ^ "mico by neurowear". mico by neurowear. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  39. ^ Heater, Brian (2013-03-10). "Necomimi cat ears' creators branch out into brain-controlled headphones (video)". Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  40. ^ "Mico headphones scan brainwaves to match songs to your mood". Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  41. ^ "TECH TUESDAY: Mood Music | Austin". 2013-06-04. Archived from the original on 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2013-07-17.

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