Uniqlo Will Read Your Mind to Sell You a T-Shirt

Photo: Ai xi/Corbis

Inclined to wear your #currentmood on your sleeve? Uniqlo can make that happen, or so it claims. The Japanese retailer has launched UMood, a program that purports to help you select the right clothing for your emotional state. According to a CNET writer who tried it, shoppers sit in front of a screen wearing a futuristic-looking brain-computer-interface headset from Mindwave. The screen displays a variety of images, and the headset reads your brain’s responses as you react to them. (The retailer even had a real-live neuroscience professor present to explain the technology.)

As for how the device matches up your roiling pysche with fashion items, it isn’t as arbitrary as “Feeling overwrought? Try some houndstooth.” Uniqlo asked a focus group to rate the 600 available T-shirt designs as corresponding to various states of mind (say, “adventurous” or “happy”). Thus far, the chain has only rolled them out in Australia, but if the retail mind-reading experiment catches on, beware of sales associates who’ll immediately know whether you’re actually there to shop or just killing time between appointments.