From the makers of the Necomimi cat ears and Tailly robotic tail comes the "Mico," a new kind of headphones that are controlled using your brainwaves. Unveiled at South By Southwest (SXSW), Neurowear's Mico connects to an iPhone through Bluetooth and selects songs that have been "neuro-tagged" using a special music app.
The Mico headphones are like a giant iPod shuffle — the app only has 100 tracks to pick from — except it chooses songs based on your mood. Feeling sad? The Mico will play some blues. Feeling super hyper? Maybe the Mico will play some dance or dubstep. You can change the chosen song by shaking your iPhone, but that kind of defeats the purpose of letting your brain tell you what kind of music you should be listening to.
According to Neurowear:
"'mico' frees the user from having to select songs and artists and allows users to encounter new music just by wearing the device. The device detects brainwaves through the sensor on your forehead. Our app then automatically plays music that fits your mood."
Engadget got to try the prototype headphones on and walked away feeling like the Mico was "kind of a crapshoot" as it thought their mood was always "focused." As with the company's other products, it's difficult to say if the Mico has any real purpose aside from being a fun gimmick. From our experiences with brain-controlled gadgets, they're almost always wrong in predicting what we want or feel. We're not saying the Mico isn't a fun little toy, we're just saying the technology will have to get a lot more sophisticated before it truly understands how we're feeling.
The Mico is reportedly "coming in the near future," and Neurowear may eventually partner with Spotify to create a larger neuro-tagged library.