by Tanja M. Laden in New Products on Tuesday 17 July 2012

Unveiled at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Necomimi is the world’s first brain-controlled feline-inspired headgear that uses forehead muscles to control the movement of a pair of cat ears. After a brief calibration period, the battery-operated, skull-mounted stuffed animal/fashion statement perk up, flatten, or flutter a pair of furry ears while picking up subtle movement from the head. Japanese fashion and electronics company Neurowear created Necomimi after the founder’s shyness resulted in a lot of alone time. She studied her cat’s physical communication and replicated it with Necomimi, which sends bio-sensory feedback to others. (Note: hair gets in the way.)

Those of us who are familiar with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly know that the late editor-in-chief of French Elle, Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a massive stroke and blinked the words of his eponymous memoir. Working with similar muscles, NeuroSky is a company that develops Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology, and Necomimi is one of the first consumer products for the public. Finally, a reward for those of us without Botox; plus, besides being cheaper than most treatments that minimize fine lines around the mouth, we have even less reason to talk to strangers.