Hot Hardware has had their little hands on one of OCZ’s “Neural Impulse Actuator” doodads for a while and they’ve decided to drop a surprisingly positive review on us. Words cannot describe how skeptical I am of the concept, having studied neuroimaging a bit, but behind the highfalutin nonsense in which the NIA is wrapped, there is a limited capacity for coolness that I would be happy to make part of my computer experience.
Briefly, the NIA consists of a set of sensors that sit on your dome and purportedly measure conductance and/or muscle movements around there. With such an incredibly imprecise method of looking into your brain, the amount of recognizable signals you can create for it is pretty limited — the NIA supports less than a dozen “brainfingers”. That said, apparently once the guys there got it all calibrated (a long process) and got used to the concept (not easy), it was very, very cool. Imagine being able to think a certain thought or concentrate a certain way and have your guy reload, or perform a macro, or sprint. It’s possible with the NIA and the concept is solid, but I think at the moment it’s a bit too much for even a hardcore gamer to deal with. I salute OCZ, though, for doing something totally weird and kind of succeeding.