Emokis will make your ears perk up. Or droop down. Or wiggle back and forth. All based on your emotions, as transmitted via your brainwaves to a Necomimi headset sensory device attached to the furry animal audibles. Yes, in this day of flying motorcycles and being able to instantly inform Facebook friends in Kathmandu that you just went on a 5-mile run, walked your dog, and took an enormous #2, you can now also communicate your emotions via a set of big pink bunny ears.
The Emoki team, led by Nick Hoffman and Hannah Masius, has created bunny, bear, and fox animal ears in a spectrum of hues (because feats of science and technology always go over way better in pretty colors--see: Apple products; Orion nebula) to penetrate your mind, pinpoint emotional states, and reflect visual cues that let anyone living outside your head know if you're feeling chill, excited, or straight-up turned on. Cool, huh? But I have a question. How the fandango do they do it?
The Necomimi headset, which existed prior to Emoki's creation, employs 1) a forehead sensor that serves like a microphone to the body's electrical signal and 2) an ear clip that acts as a ground reference point, listening to non-brainwave body electricity. When emotional states resonate, a third element, the brainwave chip, interpolates both signals by filtering out all superfluous electrical noise from the body and ambient environment, and honing in on brainwaves in the emotionally communicative 3 to 100 Hz range. The chip's algorithms then convert that frequency data to attention and meditation scores, which dictate how the ears' servo motors rotate and wiggle.
Rotation and wiggle. These are the keys to your inner soul. So let's check out what they mean:
- Emoki ears perk up: You are attentive. This movement represents single-minded focus, surprise, or attraction, and indicates beta brainwave dominance. Make this happen by looking at the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
- Emoki ears droop down: You are meditative. Awash in calm and relaxation. You're feeling chill. Indicates alpha wave dominance. Make this happen by smoking a fat bowl.
- Emoki ears wiggle back & forth. You are in the Zone, dude. In the midst of peak performance, feeling excitement, or experiencing a calm focus. Indicates both high alpha and beta wave activity. Make this happen by systematically destroying all opponents the next time you play Borderlands 2.
- One Emoki ear up, one ear down: Ears are calibrating. When turned on, the headset takes just a moment to learn everything it feels it should know about the user. Kind of like guys during the initial 7 minutes of a first date.
Though seemingly a whimsical, technicolored, unchecked window straight to your soul, Emoki animal ears are actually controllable. According to their designers, "By turning inward, meditating, or imagining the sensations of being underneath a waterfall, you can drive up alpha wave dominance and lower the ears. Honing your mind on a single thought, listening attentively, or concentrating on a physical sensation, will help you to drive up beta wave dominance and raise the ears." Practice still makes perfect, so with enough work, advanced users will ultimately be able to tap into a state of relaxed focus, and mind meld their ears back and forth on command.
Emoki animal ears are running as a Kickstarter project through November 7, 2012. Foam designs in bunny, bear, and fox each come in four different color combos, for a total of 12 pairs of head decor/emotion extraction to choose from. A couple of the "party-flavored" colors are also black light reactive. A set of ears alone requires a pledge of $35 (buyers would then be responsible for purchasing their own Necomimi headset.) For the full ear/headset package, pledge your Emoki support to the tune of $129. Throw in an extra $10 and receive the Kickstarter special edition yellow and black Pika ears.