At the cross section of fashion and technology comes another innovation from Japan that leaves the rest of the world humbly struggling to keep up with the prophets of avant-garde kitsch. Neurowear’s Necomimi are your run of the mill novelty cat ears, only now they’re electronic and manipulated by the emotional state of the wearer. The world’s fashion forward human-animal hybrid and neurofeedback enthusiasts will no doubt be charmed by this ground-breaking party favor, while others may understand it as pertinent examples of statements made by the likes of Amber Case and Donna Haraway that, “We are already cyborgs.”
Since the release of Bluetooth there has yet to be another wearable, cyberpunk-style self-augmentation of note, yet unlike the Bluetooth, which is argued as practical (if not downright neurotic), Neurowear’s Necomimi is purely an aesthetic, fashion statement. It rests in the eerie and emergent land of technology, capitalism, fashion, and kitch. Necomimi seems to be (outside of profit) more about new expressions of self via technological extension. We could say a website is a similar appendage. But one may ask where or what is this self? Is it patchwork discovered on the road of brightly lit “come hithers” or is it the result of self-inquiry? Is self stumbled upon, purchased, created, or what?
The parade of prefabricated, purchased meaning, society as a cyborg absurdist theater, self as a hyperlinked body of borrowed, shantytown media and shirts--if this is the world we now live in, than thought-recognizing robot cat ears should come as no surprise. They are probably only the beginning. Accessories and fashion have long been tied to expressing class, emotion, purpose, and meaning.. This technological quantum leap in emotionally responsive apparel—as well as other brain reading computer interface techs, screen-less projection techs, holography, gesticular interface and the like seems to suggest that the new kids on the block might not even swear or flirt or wink with each other—their clothing-gadgets will do it for them.