McCann Worldgroup Japan and MRM//McCann helped create “Merry & Bright – EEG Illumination Project” with The END ALS Association of Tokyo. The video stars Masahiro “Hiro” Fujita, now 40, who joined McCann Japan in 2004 as a strategic planner, and gives him the opportunity to share his Christmas spirits with his loved ones.
Hiro was diagnosed with ALS in late 2010. Within three years Hiro was wheelchair-bound, placed on an artificial respirator and underwent a tracheostomy, losing his voice. In that time he also became one of the best-known spokespeople for ALS victims and ALS research across APAC. All of his work is done with the Tobii eye-tracking system, which allows him to operate a computer with blinks and eye movement. His book, “99% Thank You: Things Even ALS Can’t Take Away,” received global attention.
The technology deployed and shown in the film used Hiro’s brainwaves to light up colorful Christmas illuminations in his room. Hiro’s room was designed by Yohei Taneda, a Hollywood production designer. The device that allows Hiro to change the lights with his mind is the NeuroSky mindwave headband using EEG biosensor technology. The device was connected to the Christmas illuminations by LAB 13, MRM Japan’s innovation studio. The headband was placed inside a Santa hat. As Hiro wears the Santa hat, the illuminations reveal his mind through different colors and patterns.