Deep down inside, we all wish we had cute and fuzzy ears that we could wiggle to express our emotions. At least, I know I do, so I assume that the rest of you do, too. Such fantasies are in the process of being realized through Kickstarter, where you can now preorder some brain-controlled movable ears.
We've seen these ears kicking around before, attached to headsets from Neurosky. Here's a pair we spotted at the Game Developer's Conference from earlier this year, for example:
What's new is that there's a Kickstarter campaign to make this into a more or less affordable product called Emoki, which includes a Neurosky headset paired up with some motor-driven fuzzy animal ears. The headset passively reads electric signals coming out of your brainbox, including delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma waves, and uses those data to measure your level of concentration and then moves the ears accordingly. Here's the different things the ears can do:
- Ears perk up: Attentive/single-minded focus, surprise, attraction/beta wave dominance
- Ears droop down: Meditative/calm, relaxed, chill/alpha wave dominance
- Ears wiggle back & forth: In the Zone/peak performance, excitement, calm focus/high alpha & beta
- One ear up, one ear down: Calibrating — when turned on, the headset learns about the user
With a bit of practice while watching yourself in a mirror, it's supposedly easy to get used to controlling the ears by consciously adjusting your thoughts and focus. Watch:
For the price of $129, you can preorder a headset that comes with one of a wide variety of ear styles and colors, including bears, foxes, bunnies and limited-edition yellow-and-black Pika (Pika Pika!). Just imagine a world where everybody is wearing one of these things: yes, this needs to happen.