OCZ Neural Impulse Activator (NIA)
OCZ Neural Impulse Activator (NIA) – a device intended to capture rhythms of the brain, as well as muscle and mimic activities. Marketed as a gaming controller.
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- Price: from $199.99 to $278 (in 2008)
OCZ Neural Impulse Activator is a device, which tracks activity and motions of eyes and mimic muscles, as well as alpha and beta waves of the human brain. This device is equipped with three precise sensors, a carbon headband, which has two cords in the rear to fix the device on a patient’s head. All electrical parts (such as a signal amplifier and an analog-to-digital converter) are included into a separate external unit.
OSZ NIA is connected to any USB-port of a personal computer with a processor of 1GHz or higher and at least 512MB of RAM. NIA works in 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista OS (drivers for 64-bit systems are also available).
NIA is marketed as a next generation game controller, which allows users to convert electrical signals of our brain, as well as facial expressions of the user into controlling commands for any personal computer.
This device comes with a set of software for sensors calibration, real-time brain rhythms monitoring, as well as a couple of mini-games. This set also includes a mastering program, which allows to set up triggers and key codes in order to control computer games with a device. Any event can be associated not only with a type of signal, but also with its level.
Even though OCZ NIA is marketed as a gaming controller by its manufacturer, this device can be successfully used as an assistive technology. NIA transmits information from patients via several different channels (face muscles, eye movement and brain activity), which can be used in case of diseases causing full or partial loss of motor activity. By assigning a specific command (or a key) to each channel, users can combine this device with various virtual keyboards and other assistive solutions. All these features allow using of this device for rehabilitation in medical centers and following procedures in home conditions.