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OCZ OCZNIA / NIA Neural Impulse Actuator

Released on 21 April 2008

Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

5.0 out of 5 (1 customer review) | Write a review

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The Future of Immersive Gaming is here.

The NIA allows users to control PC Games without using the keyboard and with minimal use of a mouse and reduces reaction times by up to 60%

The commands are easily assigned with the NIA's user friendly software and are calibrated based on the individuals physiology and personal preferences. Each of the Actuators signals can be assigned to a specific keystroke on the keyboard or a mouse button; consequentially, gamers can run, jump, and fire faster all without "lifting a finger".

Because the NIA converts EEG (electroencephalograph) signals into specified keystrokes, the device can be used with any software.

Upon proper configuration, the NIA will allow users to control PC gamed without the use of a keyboard and minimal use of a mouse.

How does the NIA work?

The NIA (Neural Impulse Actuator) works by reading neuronal discharges in the brain, that is alpha, beta and gamma brain waves, electro-oculogram components (the positional differential between the front of the retina and the retinal pigmented epithelium which changes relative to the eye orientation) and electromyograms (the neuro-muscular signals along with the electrical discharges resulting from the depolarization of the muscle cells).

Those are the three major components that are contributing to the signals that are captured. The raw signals of three separate inputs are then amplified and streamed into the PC using a high speed USB 2.0 protocol. Of course, the signals that are picked up by the sensors are what is called "mass potentials" or "mass discharges" of all factors that are contributing at various amplitudes and levels. This makes it necessary to digest the signals into the individual components, which is done using some quite sophisticated mathematical operations including Fast Fourier Transformation.

On the software level, we moved away from a single-threaded program to a fully multi-threaded version that can operate either in text mode (when on the desktop) or else ports directly into the DirectX platform using the DotNET framework. The beauty of this is that because of the thread level parallelism, the signals that are converted into key strokes are seamlessly integrated into the game play, moreover, since the threads are given low priority compared to the actual game play, they will not compete with the actual game for CPU resources. That means that critical computations necessary for the game play will always be executed first, since it really does not matter whether there are a few microseconds delay in the computation of the key strokes that are executed for user input.

The biggest advantage of using the NIA over a mouse is that the actual reaction times are about 30% to 60% shorter than what one can realistically achieve with a mouse. The reason is that any mouse click requires processing of the retinal signal by the visual cortex, then relaying the result to the motor centers at the substantia nigra in the brain and finally through the spinal cord out to the peripheral nerves that innervate the finger muscles. This process takes on average some 200 milliseconds, whereas for example an eye-lid reflex is in the order of 50 to 100 milliseconds and the advantage becomes very tangible in game play since many of the actions are triggered by natural reflexes. This type of reflex-based gaming is what most of the pros are using, however, it takes them several years of practice to get to this point whereas with the NIA, reflexes are taking over within the short time it takes to become accustomed with the setup.
  • diagram
  • Includes:
  • Control box
  • Headband
  • Calibration software
  • USB A-to-B cable
  • 24 month warranty
  • Connects and powered via USB port
  • 64-bit drivers now available to download from manufacturers website
  • System Requirements: Windows XP & Vista (32 & 64 bit) / 1GHz CPU / 512MB Memory / USB 2.0 Recommended

customer Reviews

 Average rating (1 review)


| | See all MikeDymond's reviews (1)

I have just navigated myself to this page using this device after just 5 minutes of training. I really wasn't expecting it to be so simple to use yet so powerful. I can't wait to see what I can achieve once I've been using it for a week...

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