OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator (nia) - The Log

Day 1 - The Gathering

Day 1 - The Gathering
 
Arriving at OC3D HQ at about mid-day, members of the OC3D staff wasted no time in gathering around the new toy. Sitting alongside a bench rig, consisting of a Q6600, 9800 GX2 and an Asus Rampage Formula, the biggest decision of the day was probably who got to try the unit first!
 
OC3D HQ - Bench Setup OCZ NIA Setup
 
OCZ NIA Configuration OCZ NIA Configuration
 
After getting the initial configuration out of the way, Llwyd was first up in the hot seat and started with a game of Pong:
 
 
Seeing Llwyd control the paddle in "Pong" using only his mind and small muscular movements was totally surreal and left us all completely gobsmacked. Obviously this was only the most basic of games, but to sit there watching someone perform any kind of task on a computer with no hands on the mouse or keyboard was unlike anything we'd ever seen before. Here's what Llwyd had to say about the device:
 
Llwyd Johnson

My first use of the nia was the Calibration panel. Here the aim is to keep your activity readout at the baseline level. During the calibration, a gyroscope is displayed for you to focus on, allowing the software to gauge your idle activity. At first, the activity readout was extremely erratic and did not correspond to any of my deliberate inputs (be it mental or muscular). After some tweaking and practice however, I was able to carefully and accurately control the readout with the use of facial muscles. While this might sound like an unattractive prospect, pulling faces to provide simple inputs, after some practice I was able to manipulate the readout with very little facial movement at all. Instead, just thinking about moving facial muscles seemed to work just as well.

Once I had the hang of this particular input, I was able to use the Reaction Time and Pong practice games. My experience with Pong was similar to that of the calibration. At first, I struggled to have any control over the paddle, but after some practice and settings adjustments I slowly gained far more accurate control. The reaction time tests used the same input but also allowed mouse input for comparison. At first, the times were around the same but as I slowly overcame the powerful urge to click with my hand rather than my face, the times started to come down to the 0.16s mark. Unfortunately the third practice, Glance Practice, was quite an uphill struggle, both for myself and others present. After calibration, it was clear the sensor was able to detect eye movement, but responded completely without regard to glance direction, making its utilization in-game nearly impossible.

From my brief encounter with the nia, I think it is clear to see how much potential this hardware has. It was an extremely surreal experience causing the slightest influence on input with my hands sitting on my lap. In the few hours I was using the nia, it did feel like I was hitting a 'brain training' wall. I found it impossible to control any of Beta or Alpha inputs while in-game and, as I said, Glance was a non-starter, which has left me feeling a little bit disappointed, despite it probably being totally down to me.

Heading down to HQ, I knew the device would have limitations, but the little kid in me was imagining it granting me near-psychic powers. Unfortunately, after several hours of trying and still only being able to control one input, those limitations look to be greater than I thought. That being said though, I have every confidence that had I played with settings and kept the thing on my head for a few hours a day, I would learn to master more of the inputs and utilize them during gameplay. So if you are looking at buying the nia, I urge you to realize that you are buying a heavily scaled-down version of what you have envisaged. It won’t enable you to sit typing an essay for school while eating dinner and it won’t yet be giving you that edge in your online FPS games. It is a wonderfully useful and clever piece of tech, but I really feel that the technology (as a PC input device) is at stage 1 of its development.
 
Next up it was Graham's turn, and once again after spending a short time configuring the nia, he headed straight in for a game of Pong:
 
 
Unlike Llwyd, Graham needed to perform much more prominent muscle actions in order to get the paddle to move. This also resulted in Graham having little control over the paddle meaning it was either in an an up or down position, and hardly ever in the middle. Here's what Graham had to say:
 
Graham Newton

First impressions of the nia for me were a mixture of awe factor, with a little inkling of 'Is that it?' As you've seen and heard from the last few pages, there isn't much to the device itself. A simple rubber headband, a box and some wires, but what more do you need? After looking on through the installation, we arrived at the main menu. Here we were introduced to the friendly animatronic-voiced woman that told us how to begin the tutorial. The software, from my point of view at least, was a well-thought out introduction to the device. The mostly text-based tutorials took the user through using the device. Calibration was a simple affair and the BrainFingers and practice modes gave the first idea of what using the device was like. All in all, it was comprehensive enough to give a feel for the nia.
After some time with the nia software, it became apparent that a lot of tweaking was needed to adjust the device to suit the individual; changing between staff member's calibrations wasn’t helping too much either. The real challenge came with using the device. It quickly became apparent that it didn't read your mind, as it could be perceived. However, the press blurb explains it all well, and as a result I concluded controlling the device properly would take a fairly hefty amount of time.

With the fact that perfecting it in the time we had wasn't going to happen, I set about testing it in games. The first game I tried out was Unreal Tournament 3. For this, I used the Game Play feature in the nia's software to create a custom profile that, on receiving a signal from the muscle sensors, simulated a left-mouse click. I then dived in at the deep-end, blasting bots with the power of my mind alone (sort of...).

The same principal was then applied to Bioshock, where by I used the nia to simulate a 'W' key stroke, of course allowing me to move forward. Playing these games, I felt that the nia wasn't quite reaching its potential with a single function. But after attempting to assign more than one event, I couldn't differentiate how to activate the two individually.

Overall, after one day with using the device I can certainly see the potential is there. However, as we've said previously, this isn't going to replace the mouse/keyboard overnight. Therefore, I would suggest that those of us with a short attention span have a long hard-think (no pun intended) about whether they are willing to devote the necessary time to perfect the nia. Otherwise, it will quickly find its way into the cupboard, never to be used again.

Finally it was my turn, and after one last trip to the configuration pages and a quick game of Pong (which I was terrible at, and didn't warrant recording), I jumped straight in for a game of Unreal Tournament 3:
 
 
While it seems a bit strange to be quoting myself, here's the impressions that I noted down during the day:
 
James Napier

Being the kind of person who normally throws instruction manuals straight in the bin and tends to play things by ear, the nia had the better of me within about 5 minutes. After installing the software, I chose to skip straight past the install guides straight to the configuration and found myself totally taken back with the sheer amount of configuration options that the device provides. Those of us who have been hoping that the nia is a plug-and-play affair with a sensitivity bar and some keyboard bindings are going to be extremely shocked.

However, after taking a few steps back and setting aside some time to read over the instruction manual along with the on-screen guides, things started falling in to place. Returning then to the configuration and going through the various steps, I was amazed at how I was able to cause spikes in the softwares graphic readout with simple facial movements. Moving through the rest of the configuration took me to the practice pages where I dove straight in for a game of Pong to see how I compared to Llwyd. Unfortunately my ability to control the paddle seemed quite "digital" with my muscle signals either being in an "on" or "off" state. Graham was also experiencing similar problems, but on a lesser scale.

Out of the three of us, I was the only person able to cause any change to the "Glance" bar graph, and this ability was further reinforced during the "Glance Practice" where I was able to "hit" the targets in generally under 1 second. However, even after reducing the sensitivity of the glance configuration, the left and right movements of the slider at the bottom of the calibration pages was still quite erratic causing several false movement readings.

Given that the day was coming to a close, I took the abilities I had acquired thus far and applied them to a game of Unreal Tournament 3. To keep things simple I bound all muscle signals to to the left mouse button so that it could be used in place of the fire button. While this was great fun at first, the novelty soon wore off as the muscle movements I was making didn't always seem to register on the nia resulting in me often being killed.

To say that it's "early days" would be an underestimate. After just one day, I don't think I've even begun to grasp the basics of the device. Possibly a few months down the line I can see myself gaining the ability to assign a lot more key functions, but I guess we're just going to see what happens with the lucky reviewer who gets to take the nia home.
 
So now at the end of day one, we still aren't really any wiser. Yes we've been able to control various elements of several games using muscle signals and the "Glance" aspect of the nia has been grasped to a degree. However, it's still not any clearer on how we can possibly control the Alpha/Beta waves, and the software doesn't really give any clues as to what we should be doing to hone in on these skills.
 
As mentioned at the start of the review, the nia has now been passed over to our Gaming/Software reviewer - Chris Buer for a full month of testing with weekly updates. These updates will be posted as additional pages in this review, so be sure to check back on a weekly basis or register over on our forums for an automatic update on when new content is added to the review.
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Most Recent Comments

01-06-2008, 17:28:09

JN
The OCZ nia is finally here and Overclock3D has been lucky enough to receive one of the first retail samples. Over the next month we'll be taking you through our experiences with the device. But for now - Day 1.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...091355144s.jpg

OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator (nia) Review

and dont forget to DIGG IT

01-06-2008, 18:56:24

Bungral
Awww man I'm still a touch gutted I couldn't make it there mate

Looks like good annoying fun.

I'll look forward to the updates. I just really want to see in a couple of months the videos people post up so we can really get an idea of what this is capable of in a game. Also hearing other experiences of how people have learned to practice certain functions and control all the different "brainfingers" at once.

01-06-2008, 19:04:28

ionicle
that looks mind boggling

kinda fun though...

hmmm

i dunno what to make of it though tbh..

01-06-2008, 19:28:29

Nick R
It would be interesting to see what you can do with a little more experience to be honest. I'd imagine the more you use it the more advanced functions you would be able to use. Maybe even ditch the mouse for just desktop use?

01-06-2008, 20:28:16

llwyd
With experience you could control the brainfingers I think, and they could be used in game for click / key functions but they are nowhere near complex enough to allow fluid movement or aiming or moving of cursors. That may come one day soon but I think that's the mistake a lot of people will be making when they go to buy one.

With plenty of practice it would become near subconscious I think, but I cannot see how it would be a viable piece of gaming gear yet, you would need to be playing in a sealed pod with 0 distraction and an epic attention span. Otherwise one grin or glance at your watch and you'll shoot a team mate in the back.

02-06-2008, 05:26:15

mrapoc
dugg and what can I say!? If only i coulda drove up xD

02-06-2008, 07:10:40

Jaster
Nice work, glad your doing ongoing investigations with it. If a monkey can learn to disassociate its limbs whilst using something similar I'm sure its only a matter of practice and configuration before the full brunt of what can be achieved with this product is apparent (Youtube Monkey Brain Control to see what I mean). Just think of the years of biomechanical work you have to unlearn first though, I've been using a keyboard/mouse/gamepad since the heady days of the commodore 16+4 so just under 30 years to retrain...thats gonna be difficult...but I'm sure the younger generations will pick it up in a snap...its also nice to see optimization for multi-core cpu's as well...got a feeling though theres gonna be plenty of software updates as I can see the software requiring a good tinkering...hoping I get me mitts on one this week

02-06-2008, 07:38:50

llwyd
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
Nice work, glad your doing ongoing investigations with it. If a monkey can learn to disassociate its limbs whilst using something similar I'm sure its only a matter of practice and configuration before the full brunt of what can be achieved with this product is apparent (Youtube Monkey Brain Control to see what I mean). Just think of the years of biomechanical work you have to unlearn first though, I've been using a keyboard/mouse/gamepad since the heady days of the commodore 16+4 so just under 30 years to retrain...thats gonna be difficult...but I'm sure the younger generations will pick it up in a snap...its also nice to see optimization for multi-core cpu's as well...got a feeling though theres gonna be plenty of software updates as I can see the software requiring a good tinkering...hoping I get me mitts on one this week
Yea, if you think about it we have had years and years learning to use our fingers. It's not as if we have to think something specific to make them move, we just move them. I think jumping straight into games is the perfect way to get frustrated with it. You need to assign anything you struggle with to a function you will use just around the desktop, like right click. Eventually it would become second nature and would be usable in games.

02-06-2008, 08:02:26

Jaster
I'm thinking that the first game I am going to seriously give it a test with is something with very little in terms of actual inputs....I'm thinking trackmania...accelerate, brake, left and right...cant get more simple then that...break myself in easy...its gonna be do-able...if i can use to learn a wii-remote/dance-matt (although the knees did seem to give up after 15 mins)/and the guitar hero controller Its just a matter of practice albeit in a different sense...

02-06-2008, 11:31:33

[Ins]
This device is weird and fascinating all at the same time.

Some initial thoughts are:

1. Positioning the headband as close to your eyebrows as you can seems to increase the ability to use the "glance" function.

2. Controlling the Alpha and Beta bars feels at time random, but then at other times I feel as if I have it under control. I can now raise all of the bars and lower them, but still cannot raise or lower individual bars.

3. The muscle functions are the easiest to work with, so clenching your teeth or raising your eyebrows always gets an immediate reaction.

4. There seems to be a lot of tweaking that you can do in order to calibrate the device. I'm know to be one that likes to fiddle with settings and configs until the cows come home, so how long I spend in these windows remains to be seen.

I'm looking forward to testing this device, but agree with previous comments made. In order to realise the true performance, it's going to take patience and time to get the "knack" of it. However, it should be an interesting month!

02-06-2008, 11:59:58

equk
really cool article

I like the videos, more reviews with videos ftw!

02-06-2008, 18:26:02

llwyd
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Ins] View Post

2. Controlling the Alpha and Beta bars feels at time random, but then at other times I feel as if I have it under control. I can now raise all of the bars and lower them, but still cannot raise or lower individual bars.
Interesting because I found that I could control individual ones, but with no particular technique. I almost had to go into a trance to do it. To move them all I basically had to go braindead.

03-06-2008, 04:08:52

Jaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='llwyd'
Interesting because I found that I could control individual ones, but with no particular technique. I almost had to go into a trance to do it. To move them all I basically had to go braindead.
Maybe its a test to see whom has the most telthapaticaly empathatic brain, or maybe it just shows us who has more control over there faculties on a subconcious level, and maybe just maybe this may train us in such a way that psychics and telekenesis may become more apparent, maybe I need a coffee, and maybe I'm nuts...probably

03-06-2008, 12:22:14

ali_james
Nice work so far guys

Looking forward to the rest of the results. Get the feeling that as this is the first of its type that its going not be perfect in terms of function but in a few years this kind of device could be the norm.

03-06-2008, 23:07:21

mVp24
this is freaky

good review but i fear the NIA

04-06-2008, 03:01:33

Jaster
Get mine today...should be interesting ....will post some video's and stuff when I get the chance

04-06-2008, 03:09:10

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
Get mine today...should be interesting ....will post some video's and stuff when I get the chance
If you need anywhere to host them or anything converted into flash movies, just drop me a PM mate.

Maybe we could even start a nia User Log thread on the forums??

04-06-2008, 03:22:05

Jaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
If you need anywhere to host them or anything converted into flash movies, just drop me a PM mate.

Maybe we could even start a nia User Log thread on the forums??
Yeah thats a good idea mate...its my better half I feel will have most of the time to hone her skills with it...she spends her time looking after our 9 month old...which would be interesting to see an average user using it,and maybe a baby too (no its not child abuse its scientific progress) when I'm set up mate I'll PM you...was also thinking of setting up a NIA only trackmania server....

04-06-2008, 03:34:17

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
Yeah thats a good idea mate...its my better half I feel will have most of the time to hone her skills with it...she spends her time looking after our 9 month old...which would be interesting to see an average user using it,and maybe a baby too (no its not child abuse its scientific progress) when I'm set up mate I'll PM you...was also thinking of setting up a NIA only trackmania server....
I've beat you to that one I'm afraid mate. Tried it on my 4yr old daughter at the weekend. Got no reaction at all out of it. I think the position of the sensors on the headband is not suitable for smaller heads

PS: No children were hurt during the filming of this review.

04-06-2008, 04:05:47

Jaster
so i'm not the only one who has a *unique* parenting aproach...lol...

04-06-2008, 08:41:23

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
so i'm not the only one who has a *unique* parenting aproach...lol...
Great minds think alike.

I believe the next candidate might be a cat in the OC3D labs. Imagine getting pus5y whipped at Unreal by a feline!

04-06-2008, 08:47:23

Jaster
I think a trip to my local petting zoo...with a laptop maybe in order...the animal kingdom heralds many an opportunity...also those drunk tramps round most city centres...maybe in time we learn about what they are shouting at....theres so much work that could be done using this technology....

04-06-2008, 11:26:51

Jaster
OMG how many calibration settings are there...we just had a quick play on pong in the office...after 5 mins I found the glance control(albeit with a bit of tweaking with the sensitivity) that I could actually control it quite well...as soon as I'm home trackmania (OCZ NIA Testingfield if anyone wants to join) will be up (bout 8pm GMT) if anyone wants to come and watch me crash my car with my brain feel free....

04-06-2008, 13:31:52

exiledduke
at work now... but... hrm... could someone point me to this "trackmania" game?

04-06-2008, 13:36:52

Jaster
...no 64 bit drivers available for NIA yet....so cant run it at home....you would of thought that with 64bit os's being used by most high end enthusiasts to unshackle the 4 gig limit that it would of been a major priority...seeing as there major business is memory...plus no warning on the box or instructions...even the software installs fine with no warnings...I know it says so on the product page but its not exactly made clear...I think there a bit out of order...

04-06-2008, 16:27:03

K3T
oh damn it ive got a vista x64

04-06-2008, 17:09:56

Jaster
I thought that 64bit support was not "optional" and is a requirement now...it reminds me of the days when I had to scratch around for drivers when i first used xp 64...other things i noticed were...when you plug it in it says "NIA Prototype"...which was a bit worrying...could of called it V1.0...obviously on 32 bit os at our office....and secondly "patent pending"....which means that anyone can reverse engineer it and/or contest the patent...no specifications or requirements on the box, instructions or software....and the cgi woman on the tutorials sounds like an old text to speech program...it does work well though...just a shame OCZ seem to be lacking in there marketing/support for a non high end enthusiast product...I think its looking like they may of bit off a tad more then they can chew...

04-06-2008, 17:14:46

K3T
no specifications requirements needed lol?

but a guy from ocz said they should have a minimum system requirement.

04-06-2008, 17:31:08

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='K3T'
no specifications requirements needed lol?

but a guy from ocz said they should have a minimum system requirement.
Yeah when we heard about the device we was told that the software was quite CPU intensive. However, on testing the device it seemed to idle at about 2% and spike up to 14% occasionally.

04-06-2008, 18:05:07

Jaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Yeah when we heard about the device we was told that the software was quite CPU intensive. However, on testing the device it seemed to idle at about 2% and spike up to 14% occasionally.
they also said it was multicore optimized so doesnt take too much cpu input on games...it ran fine on our age old 939 3700 with 1 gig of ram and onboard everything at the office..obviously that was the ocz software only...i still recon if you do all this work and aim it to a specific user then limit the people who can use it within those confines, ie the enthusiast market, your heading for fisticuffs ...if u get my drift, you got to remember only 200 in the world and most of them havent hit consumers yet...if a fully vista compatible software package, and i mean all versions, isnt released by mass filtration , which if you believe ocz is within a month, then users are gonna swamp them with annoyed complaints and consumer respect and confidence on all products will drop and hit them hard. Especially when they have alot of new lines coming about, keyboards,mice and DIY laptops. The average Joe on the street who may never have heard of them may take a fancy to one of there laptops, google it and come up with 1000 complaints over one product its gonna make it an uphill struggle for there non existent marketing team. I really think they need to act fast or the NIA could be the titanic of the perephial market, no matter how good it works.

04-06-2008, 23:13:50

exiledduke
someone with access to one of these (i.e. Jaster) needs to email me. If you have access to one (OC3D folk maybe?) shoot me an email. If you are not Jaster or OC3D and have one... please inform me so I can get you my email address.

Now until I check out this software QUIT THIS BELLYACHING ABOUT THE LACK OF 64BIT SUPPORT! NOW!!!

I'll tell you when you cna start moaning, but I have a tv tuner, a D-Link Wifi-N, and Dragon NatSpeak 9 running on my 64bit os without even 32bit emulation. These are all things which won't even start the install if they detect a 64bit OS...

I also have a 10x multiplier on my e6750... but that is a whole different story.

Point is... lemme take a whack at it and see if I can cram the NIA into a 64bit OS... put your fears on hold.

05-06-2008, 03:13:43

Jaster
right exile...Ive been running 64bit os's for 4 years..was a certified beta tester for vista x64...am fluent in msip...orca...have rewritten driver packages...the works...the main problem you'll encounter is that on the hardware level it shows as 8 different HID's...honestly mate even if I uncompiled the 32bit driver I really dont think unless you know how exactly the abstract hardware layer works with framework ...its really not worth it...this isnt a device type weve seen before...and theres nothing that can b substituted, forced or applied short of you backward engineering the hardware and software to root level....enough said

05-06-2008, 11:26:42

exiledduke
I don't think so. The Software may need to be worked over... but hardware?

Brainfingers (the $2000 model) interfaced over serial, and the NIA is USB. I am pretty sure that the Control Box does all the hardware abstraction and feeds the computer direct data (instead of feeding the software abstract data and letting it communicate with the computer).

USB is a pretty standardized interface (I hope), it would not surpirse me if the NIA actually fed in unicode commands, or something else unbearably simple.

If it shows 8 HID's, then we have seen something more complex...

http://www.siliconera.com/news/0608/steelbco.jpg

If the 8 HID's are the 8 levels that the Nia detects then it may be as simple as an 8 axis controller...

05-06-2008, 12:05:11

Jaster
Its still a dead end...at the end of the day if it was that simple dont you think OCZ would of sorted it already...and if there was any kind of work a round I would of been able to see it...I had a freind over at infrogrammes have a look at the software .... he muttered something about dll's and the 64 bit kernel and said exactly what I thought...with it being the first BCI to hit the market with some pretty unique software and hardware he said that if all the initial work was developed round 32bit hardware and software then it may take some time for redevelopment and deployment...and whatever we could do by the time weve grasped whats going on then OCZ will have released one already...its absolutely futile to say anything else on the subject...its now just a waiting game...unfortunately the emotivs hot on the heels of this, I dont think the hardware is much of an issue when it works, however like I said on previous posts I think the software will be make or break...we'll just have to see how it pans out...patience...because face it to learn how to use this technology is gonna take plenty of that...I'm excited to see what our customers think ...

05-06-2008, 12:10:45

exiledduke
Good points. I will have to trust you on this issue as I may not be as lucky as you and quoc.

anyone need 32bit media/keys? lol.

05-06-2008, 12:28:15

Jaster
Mate I returned mine to work today and it got sent out to a back order...no point in keeping an unusable unused item ...I'm not selfish...at least someone else can have the enjoyment of it...I'm getting real eager to see someone really get good at controlling it...

05-06-2008, 12:55:01

exiledduke
Blast... I can control my alpha and beta waves independently... what other controls are needed (I work at a hospital a lot and have access to "recreational" eeg use... those with higher levels of alpha waves are more relaxed, so you can train that aspect... any who...)?

05-06-2008, 13:29:44

Jaster
the ocz software has 3 sets of bars for each alpha and beta...theres glance and muscle readings....I only remember the eeg machines from 85 to 96 which involved a very uncomfortable rubber tubed head piece and about 50 sensors which all had to be put on individually with gel on each one...took over an hour to set up...couldnt imagine doing that every time I wanted a quick blast on a game

05-06-2008, 13:34:35

exiledduke
lol, you don't need that many, but if you look at an eeg (or some medical drama on youtube, or scientology) it usually has six readout needles. so the other two must be glance and musclature? or is it two HID per sensor and 1 for each of the other two sensors onboard?

05-06-2008, 13:39:04

Jaster
that would makes ense in terms of the nia...wonder what the emotivs do then...the head gear seems more elaborate with more sensors..

05-06-2008, 14:46:01

exiledduke
Meh... Either more accurate, or only one sensor/hid per node, or sensors for other things...

OCZ seems to have a rather accurate device as far as the EEG parts are concerned... emotive must traks many more things than the NIA.

05-06-2008, 15:11:09

Jaster
yeah...watching the video's not only muscle actions in the head are registered but throughout the body...watch the stonehenge demo...tbh I think there are gonna be numerous attempts...time will tell if any translate well enough to compliment traditional methods...wondering when week 2 on the log will be put up...i have faith in the reviewers on here to give it a good go and be open minded about it being the first of its kind...it was interesting to see the new emotiv vids reducing the expected price from $400 to $300...I'd read that somewhere else a whist back...suppose its good to have 2 competitors on the market to keep prices within the reach of the average consumer..

06-06-2008, 22:15:06

K3T
yay i managed to play UT3 and CSS lol with only mouse to aim xD right click as well :P took me 4hours to get use to this thing lol

oh yeah no more pong for me guys <3 NIA lol worth every penny

06-06-2008, 23:09:22

quoc
how many keys can you bind if you're able to control everything?

07-06-2008, 09:59:14

K3T
no idea lol im using the "easy" profile for ut3

07-06-2008, 10:04:28

SuperRoach
Quoc, earlier stuff said upto 16 actions.... the idea is that you can map certain parts of the "Axis" to be a button when your in that zone. So the more things you map in one axis, the more careful you have to think about that bit...

at least thats what I've picked up, not having one.

07-06-2008, 11:05:18

Jaster
your right roach...8 axis in total each with a positive and negative axis which means 16 in total...but its real sensitive...so the degrees of seperation between positive and negative and all the cross variants means you could easily map a full keyboard and macros...but you'd have to be bordering on telepathic or some other paranormal extreme to control it ...

07-06-2008, 19:40:15

Sylvr
would that mean the more buttons you add the easier it would be to 'misclick' a button in your brain?

also...Jaster, any chance your company could ship to new zealand?

08-06-2008, 01:09:34

Jaster
defo with the misclick thing...its not the sort of thing you'd want to do in any team based game....I could envisage one wrong move leading to another and another...domino effect...the software mimics the joypad config in windows ..which I think is good as its attatching it to something weve all used...

Yes we will ship to NZ but I'm not sure when the next batch are out...last time I spoke to OCZ they said the second batch would follow in approximately a month after the first shipment...however one of our suppliers said this week...however that is not the same supplier we actually got the first load from...I'm sure I'll get a better picture this week...

08-06-2008, 04:50:25

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
yeah...watching the video's not only muscle actions in the head are registered but throughout the body...watch the stonehenge demo...tbh I think there are gonna be numerous attempts...time will tell if any translate well enough to compliment traditional methods...wondering when week 2 on the log will be put up...i have faith in the reviewers on here to give it a good go and be open minded about it being the first of its kind...it was interesting to see the new emotiv vids reducing the expected price from $400 to $300...I'd read that somewhere else a whist back...suppose its good to have 2 competitors on the market to keep prices within the reach of the average consumer..
Hi Jaster,

We should hopefully have the 2nd part of the review ready to go live on monday. I spoke to our reviewer on friday and I think he's made a bit of progress, but in the early stages its quite hard to know if you are actually controlling the inputs or if its all randomness.

I've asked for someone "in the know" from OCZ to give him a call, so hopefully it'll help a bit.

08-06-2008, 09:07:19

Jaster
yeah it did feel random at some points...I didnt really have enough time with it to make a full comment on it....but the alpha and beta readings did just seem haywire...until we collaborated it with a pure relaxed normal breathing chilled 30 seconds...then we noticed with that suddenly glance controls and muscle controls seemed to be alot more intune then our first attempt...which left me with the question is 30 seconds really long enough to calibrate a base line setting....

11-06-2008, 03:01:00

JN
Just to keep you all in the loop:

We was due to publish an update to our review of the nia on Monday, but as new software was released yesterday, we've held off just a little longer to test things again.

By this avo/evening, update #1 should be live on the site

11-06-2008, 10:29:35

Hyper
Nice one Jim,

Look forward to reading it!

12-06-2008, 08:27:36

JN
Day 12 - The first instalment of Chris (ins) Buer's experiences with the device has now been posted.

Check it out

12-06-2008, 08:39:40

Jaster
sounds like the new software changes the experience....it was really hard to basically act like you were brain dead to get a good baseline...sounds promising though...the glance feature though is seeming a bit elusive...how bigs yer brow line...I remember reading in the manual that this could effect the reading on glance...so cromagnum man hasnt got a chance...does that mean that people with a protruding brow line are less evolved...wow the NIA is evolution-acist, its a new kind of persecution....one up to OCZ for possibly creating a new kind of hate crime

12-06-2008, 08:39:55

Kerotan
Not bad, looking forward to the next bit of the log- lol at blue on blue in CSS that can't of been to good- the more you tried to stop it the more frantically you'd be running and gunning- a prime example of positive feedback lol.

Keep it coming!

12-06-2008, 10:25:34

FarFarAway
Good update chris and some interesting stuff there. I like the way you control the character, although did you not find that playing 'un-relaxes' your mind? Just wondering

12-06-2008, 11:36:57

Chipzilla
I'm really curious if this device helps lowering reaction times for trained people. I'm an avid FPS gamer and currently I get a 0.13 second average which gives a noticable edge in-game:

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/8449/timermz9.jpg

I'd be quite happy if this thing could shave a something off that structurally. I'd remap melee/trigger/grenade-esque buttons to it immediately!

12-06-2008, 14:03:54

Jaster
the problemis with most reaction tests though is that you know that your being tested and so your actual response time will be less then within a game, where you have to realise the situation then react accordingly, i dont think these tests can be accurate compared to a situational reaction time which is more real world and game world accurate, a good example is that on the NIA reaction time I scored a perfect zero (no joke), but thats because I was sat there and just guessed when the symbol was going to appear. Based on the physical mechanics of how your body moves and the speed in which a computer can read an electrical impulse then it will shave reaction times by the 60% it claims but thats just the maths talking, wether that actually translates into the real world is something to be seen.

12-06-2008, 14:41:32

Chipzilla
I know what you mean by situational context, but it helps when you have your cursor on a place you know someone is going to pop up. Could be with a sniper, but also just watching a doorway, you just click faster when practised.

Scoring a zero happens often in these kinda games by guessing yeah, that's why you should use a variety of tests to see if the results are consistent. Some people show me this test with a single 0.05 result or something and brag, until I tell them the human reaction time limit is around 0.11 second and they just guessed xD

BTW with certain mice, the "click" is just slower making me score lower on these tests I score consistenly faster with a deathadder when compared to an mx510/mx518. Scores on missionred.com etc are lower with the mx518 too. I'm just very curious how quickly the NIA can make your clicks.

(other thing -completely unrelated to the NIA- is that those reactions arent just theoretical ingame stuff only, measured them "offline" too & use them for competing in sports)

12-06-2008, 14:49:27

Jaster
I know what you mean about sports etc, but there reaction get better within that field of sports for example track running, waiting for the pistol, reaction times are just part of the benefits that could be experienced with the NIA, but reaction times are just part of gaming, ive taken plenty of people out inplenty of FPS that have better reaction times by using my cunning you might have the fastest reactions on the planet but running into a battlefield with a pair of your mums knickers on your head shouting "I am the wafflemaster" won't get you anywhere it does help having a good reaction time, but its not the be all and end all,

13-06-2008, 03:22:28

Chipzilla
I didn't claim it was the end-all did I? Reaction accuracy > reaction speed, and positioning and wits can help beat better aiming players.

I just want to map some buttons to it and hope they work FAST In CoD4 I've got knife mapped to the keyboard atm, I often press it in a twitch when running into someone. If I could map it to my mind it'd save me buttons + it might be faster. That's what I'm hoping to see in this thread, whether or not it made you guys faster or even if it's just a decent replacement for the keyboard, keeping my fingers on the strafe keys.

What you say about sports isn't true btw, I've competed on a european level in martial arts for a decade and the reactions & coordination just carry over to mousing (ultra low sense mousing is similair to the lower arm motions in sporting). I've read plenty of examples online of athlethes picking up FPS games easily for similair reasons. Funny thing is that some of my other team members have something similair, their hand-eye coordination somehow carries over from guitar play, making their wrist-aim style really smooth =D

Edit: just read in Chris Buer's report that he is faster still with the mouse than with NIA. Any numbers available?

The eating while playing thing sounds difficult, I grab a small bite or a drink occasionaly while playing...

13-06-2008, 03:31:14

Jaster
I agree....theres loads of real world applications that can be transferred into gaming....we supply some military tech companies that use simulations in training....wether its sports,military, guitar playing anything that increases reaction time and hand eye co-ordination is beneficial....I think you'll just have to have a go on an NIA and see what its like...coz it is quite a weird experience....and very difficult to explain the feeling of it....

13-06-2008, 06:37:17

Bungral
A lot of people don't look at their hands when they play guitar... That wouldn't improve hand eye coordination.

I spose for the people that do though it could help.

13-06-2008, 06:58:52

Jaster
I dont get your point Bengral, hand eye coordination does not require you to look at your hands, it requires you to synchronize what you are seeing with what your hands need to do...

13-06-2008, 10:17:52

Chipzilla
Yeah, if you can finetune your wrist movements to that extent, high-sens mousing isnt hard either. It's just general muscle control.

13-06-2008, 10:58:06

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
I dont get your point Bengral, hand eye coordination does not require you to look at your hands, it requires you to synchronize what you are seeing with what your hands need to do...
Bengral?

The guitar players I know don't look at anything?? They just play? That's my point. So that wouldn't help their hand eye coordination one little bit. It would improve their dexterity though.

13-06-2008, 11:10:01

Jaster
right gotcha...but if you were reading music or tabs...then it would...or playing guitar hero ... but yeah if your doing it from memory it doesn't count....

13-06-2008, 11:16:49

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
right gotcha...but if you were reading music or tabs...then it would...or playing guitar hero ... but yeah if your doing it from memory it doesn't count....
Well that one there possibly does it the most.... Games like guitar hero where it is intensive hand eye coordination. I find myself seriously needing to blink sometimes as my eyes feel as dry as nun's gusset

13-06-2008, 11:17:57

Jaster
defo on hard and above..

13-06-2008, 11:23:44

Rastalovich
Any1 know if Ninetendo have hit-up OCZ over this tech ? Be a heck of a wave crest to ride in connection to a Wii - oh and a bluetooth setup.

Nintendo would have a field day with software creations.

13-06-2008, 19:45:07

Ghaz
I can't find anywhere that has these in stock, when is ocz sending another batch of these out?

20-06-2008, 12:29:35

Jaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Ghaz'
I can't find anywhere that has these in stock, when is ocz sending another batch of these out?
Spoke with OCZ in the UK today, no guaranteed date and the rep didnt even know that they are vista x64 non compatible, then he started harping on about how OCZ bought out Hypersonic and there new laptop range. He said hes gonna email me when he gets a guaranteed date. But then again I think I've proved more then once that my non-ocz contacts have more accurate information then OCZ themselves.

22-06-2008, 05:36:13

Chipzilla
Any updates on how it plays?

24-06-2008, 10:19:08

JN
UPDATE

Now at day 24 of using OCZ's nia, Chris [Ins] Buer gives us a video update of his progress.

Linky

24-06-2008, 10:22:11

Rastalovich
Jim, are the embedded videos pointing to the same clip ?

24-06-2008, 10:29:29

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Jim, are the embedded videos pointing to the same clip ?
Sorry - Fixed. C+P ftl!

24-06-2008, 11:09:47

Jaster
looks like the controls getting there...not convinced about the NIA director v's Gamer....seems a bit of a marketing stunt to me...plus the OCZ guy seems to be a bit nervous...keeps gulping a lot... but without seeing facial movement in sync with whats happening on screen it maybe just hes got jump attatched to gulp, sorry muscle....but considering 3 weeks ago it was difficult to use the learning curve seems to be flattening out somewhat...once mastered im sure thats when your reaction time is going to come into play...seen more emotiv stuff knocking arround...if price is competitive then maybe we'll witness our first BCI war, where people make almost retarded facial expressions at each other whilst playing the new street fighter

12-07-2008, 12:24:19

SuperRoach
No updates?

13-07-2008, 10:01:18

rrjwilson
Just to say get some inspection glasses with LEDs on and hook up some IR LEDs instead and just use that.

I've done it and its pretty good. http://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gif for games but well fun.

16-07-2008, 09:22:35

SuperRoach
It's been 2-3 weeks since last "weekly" update, hasn't it?

17-07-2008, 12:42:45

Ghaz
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='SuperRoach'
It's been 2-3 weeks since last "weekly" update, hasn't it?
NIA ate his brain.

21-07-2008, 07:05:58

simon2490
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='SuperRoach'
It's been 2-3 weeks since last "weekly" update, hasn't it?
I Think the fact the NIA is still not in stock speaks volumes for this device!!

It seems very very difficult to master standing still with this device and the emotiv's device is around the corner really. This OCZ bubble might have burst already? judging by the lack progress updates as well.

21-07-2008, 12:39:34

SuperRoach
I'll still maybe get the ocz nia anyway, but yeah... its taken too long, time to look forward to the emotiv..

08-08-2008, 19:35:39

SuperRoach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzhTkVNkcxo

I've been recording myself the past few days while learning to use it. This one is from Day Three, with me playing Call of Duty 4. I can move!

14-08-2008, 10:22:00

SuperRoach
Whats happened in the community here, its almost dead!

I have the first weeks results video. I'm learning more about what function does which.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPfYDCNoy1c

The alpha and beta waves are a bit odd though... I don't think I can move them fast enough?

14-08-2008, 11:33:16

Jaster
Sorry mate, been well busy, yeah I watched your video, and I did comment, I still havent had chance really to play around with it much, tbh after having to conduct alot of backorders in the warehouse for them I'm sick of the site of them, think of it like you having your favourite food for every meal, its like that with the NIA everyone here seems to have one, if its not the NIA being talked about its bloody big brother, I think everyones gone mad...o wait a minute maybe it me who's the mad one...probably...

08-09-2008, 22:13:06

syne
whens it due back in stock and whats the waiting list/time like on these?

rally temted to buy one as i hate the wasd keys and so have never given pc games the real chance they deserve, but not sure if that would be a help or a hinderance in learning nia commands?

to walk forward for instance what exactly do you have to do?

and what about navigating a desktop or o/s is it do-able?

09-09-2008, 03:25:42

Jaster
we have them in stock and theres plenty available in the UK, I'd check the vids on youtube out, its not really a replacement more of an addition, some of our staff have had great results some haven't, I think its very dependent on how much time you have to "re-learn" and adapt to it.

12-09-2008, 08:54:03

syne
that's the thing i never play pc games as i don't like the keyboard movement s i wouldn't have to re-learn, just learn. it seems intresting enough to buy.

14-10-2008, 18:15:06

Molotov


That looks awesome. Does seem like it's completely controlled by your eyebrow movements though.
Reply
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