New Headphones Play Songs That Match One’s Mood

March 31, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings 
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. divulge 
[dih-VUHLJ, dahy-] (v.) – to reveal an information
Example: The company cannot divulge the details of its new product.

2. fascinating [FAS-uh-ney-ting] (adj.) – interesting or attractive
Example: People find new and unique gadgets fascinating.

3. drowsy [ DROU-zee] (adj.) – sleepy or tired
Example: I listen to lively songs whenever I feel drowsy.

4. protrude [proh-TROOD, pruh-] (v.) – to extend or project outwards; to stick out
Example: His cellphone protruded in his pants’ back pocket.

5. scarce [skairs] (adj.) – lacking or not enough
Example: The app developers cancelled the project because their funds are scarce.

Read the text below.

Neurowear [NYOO r-oh- wair], a project team in Tokyo, has created a new gadget called Mico headphones. These headphones have brainwave sensors that can detect a user’s mood and play a song matching the mood.

The gadget looks like a bulky over-the-ear headphones with a sensor protruding from the front. This sensor analyzes brain patterns to determine a person’s mood. The sides of the headphones’ earpieces [EER-pees] also display symbols to indicate how the users feel and lights up when a song plays.

The new headphone works with an application of a smart device, such as smartphones and tablets. The headphones will then select and play a song from Neurowear’s database to match the detected mood.

Previously, Neurowear worked on Zen Tunes, an app which analyzes a person’s brainwave data as he or she listens to a specific song. The team also worked on other gadgets, such as the brain-activated cat ears and the brain-controlled tail that moves according to the person’s mood. These gadgets may have been the basis of the newly developed Mico headphones.

While the idea seems fascinating, some people suggested that having a headphone that plays a song opposite to the user’s mood might be better. For example, the headphones may play lively music to awaken its drowsy user. Also, the accuracy of how the gadget identifies the user’s mood is still unknown.

Details about the gadget, however, are still scarce because Neurowear has not yet divulged when it will release the Mico headphones and how much the gadget will cost.

Viewpoint Discussion 
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think this kind of gadget may take away our ability to think for ourselves? Why or why not?
·         How can gadgets that monitor people’s brain activities be helpful?

Discussion B

·         How do you think music affects a person’s mood?
·         In your opinion, why do some people play songs that contrast their mood?


March 31, 2013