OCZ NIA Brain-Computer Interface

Article Index:   



For such a technologically advanced device, the NIA sure doesn't look especially impressive. The NIA only has two pieces, the headband and the control unit. The headband consists of a long piece of molded rubber with a channel through the center for a wire to pass through. A short length of cord is attached to either end of the rubber headband and a plastic adjustable locking nut holds the headband in a circular shape. The wire feeds into the headband from the right side and connects to the three diamond-shaped sensors at the front of the headband. The other side of the wire ends in a 3-pin plug that connects to the front of the NIA control unit. The headband wire is about 3 feet long which gives you plenty of slack to work with.



As you can see in the picture above, the headband is made from a single piece of molded rubber. It isn't painted and the edges created by the mold haven't even been shaved off. When you first take it out of the box, it even has a bit of "new car smell". Unfortunately the headband ends up looking somewhat cheap. The upshot is the headband is very flexible and fairly comfortable when worn.

The three diamond-shaped sensors are positioned on the headband so they make contact with your forehead. The sensors are manufactured using carbon nanofiber technology. The soft plastic is used as a substrate for the carbon-fibers which are injected into it during manufacturing. Each of the three sensors are connected to the wire that runs through the headband.

     

The raw data from the sensors is collected by the NIA control unit. Unlike the headband, the control unit looks very nice. The unit is shielded in a brushed aluminum case that's been anodized black with the letters "nia" painted on the top in white. While the headband connects to the front of the unit, the rear of the unit features a standard B-type USB 2.0 port. The NIA uses USB for all data transmission and also for power, there is no separate AC adapter to clutter your desk. The NIA sits on four non-slip rubber feet and is no bigger than two older iPods stacked on top of each other.

  

The overall build quality of the NIA is mixed. While the NIA control unit has excellent build quality and looks very nice, the rubber headband looks and feels somewhat cheap. Unfortunately, we discovered after two short weeks that the headband's build quality is quite low since one of the sensors became partially detached. While this didn't effect functionality at all, it does make us worry about how long the unit will last.


Setup

Setting up the NIA is a very simple procedure. Simply connect the headband to the control unit and the control unit to your computer with a USB cable (one is included). The NIA comes with a driver CD with the necessary software. The actual software is fairly small, consisting of only an EXE, three DLLs and some tutorial videos. Installation is a breeze and you'll be installed and running in no time.

While the NIA software is small and "lite", it is not simple. In fact it is quite complex and very powerful as you'll see on the next page.
 

Image gallery

Related content

Comments

Comments
Lev_Astov 6 years ago
Great article! Thanks for doing a review on the NIA, as I've been wondering about its qualities lately. I think it sounds like a blast, and an interesting way to teach me how to take control of my brain. I'll probably get one of these in the not too distant future, after my next splurge.
Anonymous 6 years ago

 So, Does it actually use brainwaves to work or is it really just measure twitch muscles or something ? It sounds cool but it also sounds gimicky. I guess the question that bugs me is Why have one ? I guess it would definately be something to talk about with your buds.

Dave_HH 6 years ago
It does a combination of both actually.
Jeffb 6 years ago
Jeff's brain can't handle this man!
SqUiD267 6 years ago

Ha I told my mother about this she was disgusted how gaming is no literally getting to your head.

Lev_Astov 6 years ago
Wow, this article totally got pimped by Engadget. Nice work!
SqUiD267 6 years ago

I love how ENgadget gets a lotta reports from here now. Big Smile

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

I wonder how this thing'll work out for people with chemically imbalanced brains i.e. skitzos, etc. lol!!!

nECrO1967 6 years ago

[quote user="recoveringknowitall"]

I wonder how this thing'll work out for people with chemically imbalanced brains i.e. skitzos, etc. lol!!!

[/quote]

 

LOL. You'll find out next time you play an FPS and see a guy running around randomly shooting at nothing and hopping like he's on steroids.... wait, that's 99% of the servers out there! :) Nevermind. ;)

 

Seriously though. I really think this could be great if used WITH a keyboard/mouse.

 

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

[quote user="nECrO1967"]You'll find out next time you play an FPS and see a guy running around randomly shooting at nothing and hopping like he's on steroids.... wait, that's 99% of the servers out there! :) Nevermind. ;)[/quote] 

lol... your joke's funnier than mine mainly because it's so true!!!

amdcrankitup 5 years ago

[quote user="recoveringknowitall"]

I wonder how this thing'll work out for people with chemically imbalanced brains i.e. skitzos, etc. lol!!!

[/quote]

 

Now that funny recovering! I dont care who you are thats funny! Seeing how it is that I,ve had 2 Brain surgeries and they scrambled things around a lot in there and my motor skills and my cognitive thinking skills SUCK this just might have to be some of my new RIG arsenal. Im serious how much does one of those toys cost! Hmmmmm I wonder if I can get my medicare and Humana policy to pay for me one for MEDICAL Necessecity! LOL   Well Its a thought then I might be able to go to combat with some of you guys online playing crysis and others. Others I,ll have to put up a donation cup at some stores around here! LOLWink

3vi1 6 years ago

I'm pleasantly surprised to see that it's more than I expected (a face twitch sensor).

Does OCZ have plans to make this work with any consoles or alternate OS's?  I play most games on PS3, 360, and Wii... and only occasionally use WINE to play CS:Source or EQ on Linux.

If not for the Windows-only aspect, I'd buy one right now.

cygnis 6 years ago
Looks like fun.. For those with the time to devote to learning the device, it could really turn out to be quite a bump to ones gaming. Especially if one has the time, on a day to day basis.

Considering we have limited understanding of our own brains, and their capability.

Tho, truly, the potential of such a device is limited only by one self.

corycountree 5 years ago

Get Moving in Cyber Space

Imagine your motor cortex fully activated while you have full muscle tone but both what your cortex says you are experiencing and what you are actually experiencing are not what you body is actually doing. You were trained to do this on a brain computer interface. Highly Skilled lucid dreamers in intense sessions and brain tomography on the level of seismic tomography make this all possible. Accessing the brain thru non-invasive means is vital in Berlin where Brain Computer Interfacers and the Locked-in are moving things with only their minds; however, one might say that all this research is treading water awaiting advances in Neuro-surgery.  I’m pitching the thoroughly developed non-invasive technique as a necessary prelude to the invasive interface.  I’m just looking for sympathetic places to post the story I’m telling in the form of a fictitious photo journal.

http://loreta-mocap-bci.blogspot.com/

sandymiss 5 years ago


Thanks for the suggestion, I wish it had worked.Stick out tongue

 

simulation credit auto

kinkon23 5 years ago

Accessing the brain thru non-invasive means is vital in Berlin where Brain Computer Interfacers and the Locked-in are moving things with only their minds; however, one might say that all this research is treading water awaiting advances in Neuro-surgery.  I’m pitching the thoroughly developed non-invasive technique as a necessary prelude to the invasive interface.  I’m just looking for sympathetic places to post the story I’m telling in the form of a fictitious photo journal.

 

nature cleanse
Stephaned 5 years ago

This is a waste of time in my mind , controllers like the Novint Falcon are gonna leave these kind of weird experiments hidden in the shadows.

sonicb00m 5 years ago

This whole idea frightens me. I definitly think we should try and get a better understanding of the human brain before we start tinkering with this sort of experimental stuff. Besides, I am indeed quite satisfied with my mouse and keyboard combo.

neilganon 5 years ago

I think the problem would be keeping focused on the game. Wouldn't it be easy to get distracted and send random commands to the game?

neilganon 5 years ago

I think the problem would be keeping focused on the game. Wouldn't it be easy to get distracted and send random commands to the game?

JoonaMerilinen one year ago

I have copied my key board to it, can u earn some money by using Alfa1, Alfa2, Alfa3, at same time as a keyboard. same is Beta1, Beta2, Beta3, Just let ur brains think :) , i wrote 2 bages alreay some kind of skript :)

Alphanuker 8 months ago

Im not sure how i feel about this.

idiot5 8 months ago

i think if you use this and Oculus Rift at the same time, you become Neo. But seriously, I feel like this could have a lot of beneficial uses for people with muscular distrophy or ALS.

RonnyMyra 6 months ago

As you know that the mobile phone signal jammer can cut off the signals of the mobile phones and soon make it impossible to make phone calls or send messages. In this way when you need the peaceful condition and want to stay in it, you can just use the phone blocker to help you achieve your goal. And now as the technology develops with high speed the advanced phone blocker has come into the market and are well welcomed by the group of people who need the jammer product.

Post a Comment
or Register to comment