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On your brainwave

Digital devices are getting very personal.

Firstly I’ve been watching the unlikely rise of the Necomimi brainwave cat ears, where the ears move by themselves, based on your emotion.

Well, in a way, cat ears make sense. Isn’t the whole reason that digital was invented purely so we could share cat images, tweet about cats, share cat jokes, and cat stories? Hmmm.

The rise of ‘all things cat’ has lead to this cute (or silly, depending on your viewpoint) innovation by Neurowear, now so popular they are available through Amazon for around $70. They even won a Bronze Mobile Lion at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June 2013.

According to the website, the way it works is that there is a forehead sensor which reads your electrical impulses. The sensor captures this data and interprets your brainwaves with various algorithms. The ears then wiggle and move according to this data – showing those around you how you are feeling. Relaxed – the ears are down, focused – the ears perk up quickly, interested – the ears perk up and wiggle.

Tens of thousands of people have joined the Necomimi craze already. A partner company has also developed a tail that wags with your mood called “shippo” ("tail" in Japanese).

The next brainwave device which takes this concept one step further is the Mico headphones displayed at SXSW in March. Music will be listening to us, not vice versa.

These still-in-prototype headphones connect our brainwaves to an iphone music app which selects the next song to play based on matching our state of mind. The moods are roughly: focused, drowsy or stressed. They are still in prototype phase but the idea sounds intriguing and is likely to attract a wider audience than fluffy cat ears. It’s being called ‘music serendipity’.

So, we won’t need to create playlists or keep selecting the next song to play - soon everything will be done for us via our brainwaves.

The most interesting aspect is that this focus on 'brainwave' tech may well open a new channel for smart marketers to tap into. What if we can actually know if someone is hungry, or their mood, and deliver a product or service suggestion or offer. The right message at the right time based on the person's actual brainwaves.

Isn’t tomorrow looking exciting?

September 23, 2014
Caroline
Herrman

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