Innovation That Matters

In Japan, headphones detect user's mood and play music accordingly

Publishing & Media

Mico headphones monitor user's brain waves and select songs that match their mood.

Regular readers of Springwise may remember Digipill, the audio ‘drug’ that uses psychoacoustic therapy to alter the mood of users. Turning that concept on its head, Mico headphones monitor user’s brain waves and select songs that match their mood. Developed by Japan-based Neurowear, the Mico headset looks like a regular pair of headphones, with the addition of an EEG reader that rests on the forehead and senses neural activity. Analyzing the signals enables the device to detect the mood of the wearer, which it exhibits using an LED display on the earpieces. When connected to the Mico app, this information is used to select a song from its database that matches the emotion. Currently, the tracks in the library are tagged with one of three moods – focused, sleepy and stressed. As well as getting rid of the step of scrolling through thousands of songs to find one that suits your mood, Mico headphones also provide a Pandora-like service, helping users discover new music. The following video explains more about how it works: Whether this kind of technology will be a hit with music lovers may depend on the accuracy of the brainwave sensors as well as the quality of the music library. However, there’s plenty of inspiration here: how else could similar ‘mood-reading’ devices be used to deliver the right content to consumers at the right time? Spotted by: Smith Alan



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