OCZ Technology - Brain-computer interface

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amanda's picture

NIA - Neural Impulse Actuator.
The NIA is a brain-computer interface that can be used to control computers and play PC video games.
Such as, Unreal Tournament 3 and Counter-Strike: Source.

nia_angle The NIA is a band that sits around your head. You can use it to play computer games, rather than using a  joystick, keyboard, etc.
Sounds intriguing, yes. I’ve done a little reading about this new bit of technology, and it seems to be for real.

When, where and how much are some frequently asked questions, I’m sure.
Ryan Peterson, co-founder and CEO of OCZ Technology, told tgdaily that the suggested retail price of the NIA will be $159. “We want people to buy the thing, not to just look at it and think that they cannot afford it,” he told them. Read more about that short story at tgdaily.com.

As to when and where, I am yet to learn. Although I did read in various places that it would be released some time this year (2008). Who knows.

Apparently, there has been serious scientific research on brain-computer interfaces (BCI) since the 70’s. And most of the interest seems to be centred around medical applications. So perhaps the release of NIA will encourage that vision and research... depending on how well it goes.

As far as gaming goes, they reckon it would realistically take months of practicing to master this new piece of technology and get the most out of it.
So unless you’re hardcore about this stuff, you probably won’t be all that thrilled about the NIA.

You can read about how it works in detail at hothardware.com. But my VERY simple understanding from it is that the head band has sensors attached to the front, that read certain brain signals.  I quote from the hothardware site: 

The significance of this is that rather than "reading" or translating your thoughts, the NIA detects the most basic components that make up your thoughts; the electrical signals. This means that thinking "go left" probably won't have the desired result and the NIA is unable to translate thought commands like "duck" and "shoot" into computer inputs. Rather than commanding the NIA with direct thoughts, you will need to learn how to isolate and control the specific signals it can detect, in a similar way to how we can isolate and control the signal used to move a leg or flex a bicep. The advantage of this method is that once the skill has been mastered, navigation and control within a game should seem nearly as easy as controlling your own body, except without the tactile feedback.

7-21-08-ocz-niaSo from that I understand that, NO… you do not simply think “left” or “shoot” and then it mysteriously actually happens! Disappointing, I know. It seems to work very much like the way we walk or pick something up with our hands.. move a finger. If I think to myself “toes, wiggle”.. it doesn’t happen unless I make it happen. I can’t simply tell them to do it.. because they’re me I suppose. And I have no idea how I make my toes wiggle or my legs and feet walk… they are things we just do and figured out when we were very young. So, similarly, I’m guessing the NIA works in a way very much like that. Everything I just tried to explain may not make any sense to most people who read this, and what I tried to explain may have absolutely nothing to do with how it actually works. But from the explanation given from the brainiacs at hothardware… that is all I understood from it. If you go to the hothardware site they explain the fine details on how it works exactly, they use the word “biopotentials” often… they lost me. Even if they tried to explain it to me more simply, I doubt I’d fully understand it until I actually tried to use the NIA. And even then, there’s much doubt for my mind understanding it. Good luck everyone else.

In conclusion, the NIA does actually sound like you’d have some fun with it! Possibly frustrating at first for many, but once given the time of day, more like the time of month… it’d be heaps of fun!

I hope this article on the NIA was useful to some people out there.
Thanks for reading.



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hari's picture

NIA, very good device. it

NIA, very good device. it seems to be a potencial gadget for gamer.
How much does it cost per piece?

Thank's .....