Hailed as “the new mind reading headphones,” this new headset takes electroencephalography and iTunes shuffle to whole new, albeit comical, level.
Japanese based Neurowear has done it before with their famous and wildly successful Necomimi cat ears – and tail counterpart Shippo – that were also controlled be the user’s brain waves. This time they are back with Mico (short for Music Inspiration from your Subconsciousness), which comes with a pair of heaphones, a brainwave sensor, and an iOS app, so that the user’s playlist can be arranged telepathically based on their mood.
The new headphones, which were just presented at the SXSW music trades how in Austin Texas, have an awkward sensor that is placed on the user’s forehead so that the device can determine their mood and together with the application will arrange music accordingly. However, the device can only determine if the user is focused, drowsy or stressed, which seems limiting considering the complexity of human psychology. Surely, it could do much more, but perhaps this is a reflection of our terrible musical taste and not our simple mindedness?
Before the age of Pandora, we’ve all had that moment where we’re thinking of a song and the radio station we’re listening to just happens to play it at that very moment. If we could recreate that rare and fleeting moment over and over again, or any other moment like it, wouldn’t it lose its potency to excite?
Where technology makes our lives simpler it can also have the tendency to kill our tiny, transitory instances of joy too. Moreover, isn’t music supposed to put us in different moods, not sustain one, even if it’s good or bad? Perhaps that is subjective, but maybe we’re just clueless. The Mico headphones also have a set of LED signs on the side that light up to tell us what mood we’re in (like I wouldn’t know if I was drowsy or stressed out already).
Neurowear hasn’t set a release date for the new Mico headphones, but beware, this thing looks like a terrible investment. The forehead sensor that is crucial to “reading your mind” will not work in small gusts of wind and light zephyrs, or when a piece of hair gets in the way. At the end of the day I only have one question: is there a playlist of songs for buyer’s remorse?