Chapomatic

March 29, 2009

And This Is Early Tech

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:37 pm

While researching some new solid state hard drives I noticed that one of the companies sells this.


n_i_a

Called a “neural impulse actuator”. From a review, which notes that this is marketed to gamers:

For thousands of years now, man has used simple, relatively intuitive controls to make machines and animals do his bidding—be it squeezing his thighs to make a horse gallop faster, cranking a wheel and axle to draw water from a well, or flooring a car’s gas pedal to run a red light. Applying mechanical force to get something done is second nature to most folks, and video games are no different. We use joysticks, gamepads, mice, keyboards, and other controllers to translate finger or limb movements into actions on the screen. Want to move your character left? Push the analog stick to the side. Want to fire? Squeeze the trigger. Easy.

What OCZ has done with the NIA is throw most of that out the window. By incorporating an electro-myogram, electro-encephalogram, and electro-oculogram into a small headband and a little black box with a USB connector, the company has developed a control system that can translate eye movements, facial muscle movements, and brain waves into game input. As a result, the NIA is a strange contraption that requires some very unusual participation from the user.

I first heard an account of something like this in the real world a while back, and the company says that the idea is based on a $3000 device sold recently. This is gamer quality here–for serious geeks only, with a UI that could use tweaking–but, geez, it’s a hundred thirty bucks or so. The device has some real potential. Here’s a rival with a snazzier website.

I wonder if that quadraplegic vet in Omaha will be able to get the 2.0 version of this thing.

2 Responses to “And This Is Early Tech”

  1. Jerry H. Says:

    Hence leaving both hands available to handle my drink and my chips with cheese!

  2. virgil xenophon Says:

    I believe the USAF at Wright-Patterson, Dayton, OH., has been working on just such a sys. for flight controls for a number of years–don’t know how far along they are–I’ve lost touch with the program.

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