As gaming accessories go, it doesn't get much more out there than the OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator (or NIA). Clearly bored with cumbersome mice and keyboard interfaces, OZC built a system that lets you control your PC with your brainwaves. Now, the NIA was launched way back in 2008, but you can still buy it from a few online retailers or pick one up second hand.
We were fortunate enough to be able to track one down and put it through its paces. The NIA consists of a control box, software and of course the actual neural headset sensor itself. The rubber headband is fairly comfortable to wear and includes three neural sensors as well as muscle sensors that can detect the raising of your eyebrows. The software includes a comprehensive tutorial that covers everything from putting the headset on correctly to calibrations. You also get a bunch of practice modes such as pong to hone your control.
We found that some users could easily get a response from the device whereas others had so much neural ‘noise’ that calibration itself was almost impossible. In actual games the NIA was a fun way to drive a car with our minds, but certainly did not improve our skill levels.
It’s important to remember that the NIA is not an instant gaming solution. It’s like learning a new skill and at first you will suck at it and want to give up. But with enough effort you can potentially get a lot out of it.
- three neural sensors
- eyebrow movement detection
- practice games included
Pros : Mind control, unique, fun.
Cons : Hard to learn, inaccurate, needs calibration.
Verdict : 6/10
Contact : OCZ
Online : www.ocztechnology.com
Price : $130