Print 48 comment(s) - last by misuspita.. on Mar 6 at 8:53 AM

The Neural Impulse Actuator provides highly configurable brain based control for your gaming pleasure.  (Source: OCZ)
The year of the brain mouse continues

DailyTech covered the progress made on OCZ's brain mouse design back in January, following OCZ's demonstration of the device at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  Since then, two hungry competitors -- Neurosky and Emotiv -- have prepared to release their own brain-controlled mice to consumers, upping the ante for OCZ. 

Not to be outdone, OCZ, feeling the heat, is at last bringing its Neural Impulse Actuator (NIA) to market.  The device is essentially a brain controlled mouse, relying on Electroencephalogram (EEG) readings of the brain's alpha and beta waves.  These readings, combined with muscle movement and glance (eye movement) readings, allow for a very effective interface. 

Furthermore, OCZ has done extensive research into make the system high configurable, which it sees as the key to effective readings and control.  Users can configure thresholds to activate certain actions, allow users to have much more delicate control than in their competitors.  Also this helps to counter any variations in individual physiology that might come into play.

Like its competitors, OCZ's NIA utilizes a headband to capture its readings.  One area where OCZ's design is intended to shine is in terms of computer performance.  Depending on their complexity, brain mice can require significant processing resources.  OCZ's design is optimized for a multi-core system and runs non-intrusively in a multi-threaded environment.  The end result is there is less reduction in gaming performance, yielding a more satisfying gaming experience. 

OCZ demoed the device being used to control a user character in Unreal Tournament 3, with no snags in frame rates.

Users adapting to the brain mouse will face a steep learning curve.  However, once employed, the mouse brings up to a 60 percent reduction in the time needed to react, according to OCZ.  This edge is granted based on long period of time needed to relay information from the eyes to the brain and then the ensuing reaction to the finger muscles.  A brain-to-eye muscle reaction is significantly faster.  This could be a boon to professional gamers, who can use it to enhance their performance without the use of drugs.

OCZ promises that average users will be able to begin to use the device within hours after some initial practice.  Then the only thing left to do is hone their skills in the game world arenas.  Some may even find the device useful in non-gaming desktop applications, despite its primary focus on gaming.

The device, which goes into production next week, should retail for $300 USD.

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Oh yea...
By TimberJon on 3/3/2008 12:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
Now I can play WoW at a glance, WHILE I work. Or while im doing dishes, vacuuming, Bills, Etc... Whats the range on that thing?

I'm not convinced. Nice price tag for such a bundle of technology though. Not like the "highly customizable" OLED K/B. Booo.

Where can I get one? And is it going to be on display in any retail stores for testing?

RE: Oh yea...
By TimberJon on 3/3/2008 12:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Forget my "where can I get one comment". I don't know why I asked that.. I'll know where to get it. Production is launching, but online retailers only? Will be keeping an eye on CNet for a review. Would be nice if DT posted a link to it ASAP.

RE: Oh yea...
By pmonti80 on 3/3/2008 12:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
Better wait till the second of third iteration of the product so they have sorted out the problems.

RE: Oh yea...
By inperfectdarkness on 3/3/2008 12:27:05 PM , Rating: 5

"the synaptic seepage will kill you in less than 48 hours".

RE: Oh yea...
By inperfectdarkness on 3/4/2008 9:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
i'm glad someone got the reference to johnny mnemonic. lol!

RE: Oh yea...
By meesohonee on 3/6/2008 1:52:37 AM , Rating: 2
Why? It is much easier to respond to the wife's interrorgations saying, "Sorry, honey, I didn't mean to download that video. All of the bugs haven't been worked out of this BRAINMOUSE I have."

lol (I spelled it "terror" for a reason. I have been in that situation NUMEROUS times)

RE: Oh yea...
By MrFluffo on 3/3/2008 2:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Dont turn off your computer while its on your head! You might go into a coma or something cliche.

RE: Oh yea...
By christojojo on 3/3/2008 3:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
Would an AED become the new reboot device?

RE: Oh yea...
By meesohonee on 3/6/2008 2:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
no... Most likely comes with a case of energy drinks and a small pair of jumper cables. you know. Electro-Shock therapy. Even a light bulb so you can do the famous "Uncle Fester" trick.

RE: Oh yea...
By cyyc009 on 3/4/2008 8:26:47 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, stop going .hack on us:-P I think OCZ is coming up with a great idea here. I would love to try out this mouse and see if it truly has the ability to be used in real-world apps. If it does, I wouldn't mind the learning curve one bit.

RE: Oh yea...
By Tsunami982 on 3/3/2008 2:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
So can aim my crosshairs or reticle just by looking at it?

RE: Oh yea...
By random git on 3/4/2008 5:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
Whats the range on that thing?

Even if the range is short I can imagine scenarios where freeing both hands while using your computer may be beneficial.

RE: Oh yea...
By meesohonee on 3/6/2008 2:39:01 AM , Rating: 2
. . . .

RE: Oh yea...
By misuspita on 3/6/2008 8:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly my thoughts!

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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