Soon everyone will be able to be a catperson, as long as they don't mind their ears reading their mind.
The Japanese company Neurowear has created a set of mechanical cat ears that allow anime fans to live out their catgirl - or catboy - fantasies. The ears are apparently able to sense the wearer's mood and move themselves in an appropriate manner.
The toy is called "Necomimi," which is a play on the Japanese words for "cat" and "ear." That's not the only wordplay going on though, as Neurowear says that the first two syllables also represent the words "neuro" and "communication." The Neurowear team said that there were investigating new ways to communicate and hit upon the idea of using brainwaves, and as the brainwave sensors had to be mounted on the head, the team decided to come up with something "cute and catchy."
The ears are able to prick up when the wearer is excited, and droop when he or she is calm. Tomonori Kagaya, who is part of the Neurowear team, said that the medical versions of the brainwave scanners cost millions of yen, but that falling costs have allowed people to experiment with them and come up with new ways to use them.
The Necomimi are essentially just a novelty, but they're kind of fun, and I can see them doing rather well in Japan. They could also provide the perfect finishing touch to a lot of cosplay outfits, not to mention really confuse a lot of pet cats.