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OCZ Prepares Neural Impulse Actuator for Shipping

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the by-the-time-you-get-the-hang-of-it-they-might-be-in-mass-circulation dept.

193

An anonymous reader writes "Technology review site Overclock3D has received word that OCZ Technology is putting their neural impulse actuator (NIA) into mass production for shipping next week. The device, aimed at gamers, works by reading biopotentials. 'These include activities of the brain, the autonomous nervous system and muscles — all of which are captured using embrace sensors located on the NIA's headband, amplified and sent to the PC via USB 2.0.' Users of the NIA will be able to control their in-game movements using only the power of mind. The device is priced at around $600USD"

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193 comments

April Fools!? (-1, Flamebait)

Tragek (772040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614376)

Month early much? Oi.

Re:April Fools!? (2, Insightful)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614400)

Seriously. I just can't imagine that this could possibly work better than keyboard/mouse setup.

In Crysis, for example, there is so much input/output between switching weapons, suit settings, reload, not to metion run-of-the-mill aiming and movement. There's just no way without even a minor component like some sort of eye motion scan.

If it works well, I'll be the first to happily call myself an unbelieving douche and will post naked pictures of me playing games with it. Not that anyone wants to see that. I'm just saying.

Re:April Fools!? (4, Interesting)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614534)

I actually saw something like this at CES '07. It was able to tell the difference between "relax" and "concentrate", for instance. They had it hooked up as a Half-Life 2 modification. If you concentrated, the things under the cursor would start to explode. Relax, and they would start floating around your head. It was pretty cool to watch, but it's not something that would be useful for playing most fast-paced games.

Re:April Fools!? (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614712)

Of course its not useful yet. Most of what happens in fast paced games does not go through your conscious mind. Most fast past gaming skills are simple muscle memory and hand eye coordination. The best gamers are on top of their game as they relax and stop thinking about anything. The less you engage your mind the better you do.

Very true (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 6 years ago | (#22615096)

Reminds me of one time in high school, a friend played my copy of F1 Race [wikipedia.org] and set an unholy fast time on one of the tracks, beating all my records by a long shot. For about three evenings I tried to beat his record, and eventually came close, but I couldn't beat it. These simple old racing games played more like modern dance games - accurate timing of your actions was key, and I had been intently trying to get my timing as sharp as possible. At this point I knew the track like the back of my hand. One time I just kind of zoned out and wasn't paying attention - and I finally beat his record...by a good margin.

Re:April Fools!? (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614874)

Seriously. I just can't imagine that this could possibly work better than keyboard/mouse setup.
Next thing, they're gonna tell us you'll be able to play video games by waving a little stick at the screen.

Re:April Fools!? (5, Informative)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614402)

Not necessarily. There have been devices like this for paralyzed people for years. The big innovation would be making it small and cheap enough to sell, which they say they have done.
A more detailed review [legitreviews.com] might help.

Re:April Fools!? (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614640)

There have been devices like this for paralyzed people for years.
Yes they have, but they require in depth training and in no way can they even parallel what can be down with a keyboard mouse combo. Let alone a keyboard itself. It's basically a yes or no response, true or false etc. Probably a bit more advanced nowadays. But it would still probably be operated with a similar interface, such as a group of letters would appear on the screen, you issue basic commands to select the character or move to the next set.

So even typing out a simple email is/would be very time consuming. I am not familiar with the exact tech OCZ is trying to implement here but I highly doubt it's more advanced than what some of the greatest research institutions are doing across the country. Granted I haven't picked up an issue of SciAm or New Scientist but you can't tell me they have perfected and commercialized this tech in such a short time.

The only use I could see for this, with my current understanding of this tech would be issuing a reload or save command while using manual control.

Not April fools... (5, Interesting)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614494)

...it's real, and it's a very old idea. Atari created a very similar device [atarimuseum.com] 25 years ago. It was crude by today's standards (you very nearly had to move your eyebrows for it to register movement) but it did work. Atari had working prototypes at a CES in the early 1980s--people could play pong and breakout with the "mindlink". It was a crude form of the very same technology used here, though it was much less sensitive and required a bit of muscle movement for it to pick up neural impulses. The technology was developed for myoelectric prosthetic limbs and has matured greatly since those days.

Atari's MindLink controller was never released to production though...testers often experienced tension headaches after using the device for extended sessions and it was not very precise. Beyond pong and breakout and other simple games it was not very effective because users had trouble coping with more than simple linear control. Also, furhter refinement of the product was abandoned as this was around the time of the Tramiel takeover (and Tramiel was known not to ever be enthusiastic about the potential of home video game consoles vs. low cost home computers) and the big console industry shakeout made for a lot of vapourware from all industry players.

Certainly with increased processing power and better sensor technology in the past 25 years there could be much more potential in such a device, especially for those who have physical disabilities that prevent them from effectively using keyboards and mice. This isn't April fools or even a new idea, and it employs passive sensors (they do not transmit neural impulses--only detect the ones you generate) so a "blue screen of death" won't really kill you, and if you get a good fragging it won't fry your brain (the feedback is only visual--what is on the screen).

Re:Not April fools... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614590)

Hooking up brain controllers and then experiencing tension headaches? O_O sounds horrific. Those would be from concentrating so hard right?

Re:Not April fools... (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614838)

Those would be from concentrating so hard right?
Or from using eyebrow and other upper facial muscles to exhaustion (which the atari device seems to encourage you to use). If you don't know what I'm talking about just get some sunglasses, stretch the legs open a bit so they're slightly loose, then wear them.

After a while you'll start to feel tension near your ears (tending towards the back of the head), keep this up long enough (with the positive re-inforcement of playing a video game) and you'll come out of your session with one splitting headache.

If you want any other example of gaming leading to accepting great pain, ask anybody that played w/ their SMS or NES controllers for too long!

Re:April Fools!? (1)

Dice (109560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614526)

Yeah, I checked my calendar too.

OMG!!! Ponies!!!

If it has API - it will ROCK (2, Insightful)

npetrov (1170273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614592)

If it has API it will rock as a secondary input system to mouse. You will be able to scroll through text/code just by looking, switch windows, copy paste - it has an enormous potential. Again, if it can be trained to work with 99.9% precision like a mouse.

Re:April Fools!? (1)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614938)

Well, I remember just seeing such a device for the Wii not more than a week ago on a TV news channel.

DirectX better be thread safe... (2, Funny)

Onetus (23797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614382)

Insert obvious joke about Blue-Screen of Death here.

Pitfalls? (1)

concernedadmin (1054160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614388)

What happens if the device misfires an electrical signal, either due to software (buggy code) or hardware (material deficiencies, etc.)?

Re:Pitfalls? (1)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614422)

Are you afraid that since you're strapping something on your head that it will shock you?

Because we all know that our current interface devices, like keyboards and mice will shock you?

I fail to see what happens if the device misfires an electrical signal as compared to any other electrical device. It's not like this device is sending an impulse into your head, but rather, its trying to detect and decode electrical impulses.

Re:Pitfalls? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614762)

The EEG sensors that i'm familiar with require a conductive gel between them and your head. This greatly reduces the voltage required to give you serious problems. The concern is that an errant voltage (lightning strike, power surge, equipment failure) poses a much more serious threat once you have reduced the resistance between the equipment and your body.

Re:Pitfalls? (2, Funny)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614682)

Reports suggest that some side effects due to haphazard "electrical signals" result in the user asking mindbogglingly stupid questions.

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614392)

This will be very helpful in controlling my drug mules. I'm sick and tired of them deciding to skip out on me after they've made it through customs.

Sorry Guys! (1)

Nimsoft (858559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614394)

Sorry for the team-kill, I sneezed :)

Seriously, however... Sure it's an interesting product, but I highly doubt it's accurate enough to be of much use and it certainly won't be replacing the keyboard and mouse any time soon!

It'll be interesting to watch this technology mature though...

This would be great, (5, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614406)

If I didn't have to think in Russian.

Re:This would be great, (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614468)

Clint, ditch the orangutan!

non-gaming application (5, Funny)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614408)

The online porn experience would be greatly simplified.

Correction (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614410)

The article says the device will cost an estimated $300, not $600.

Current Support? (1)

eplawless (1003102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614412)

So say I want to play Half-Life 2 with this thing. When I'm setting controls and it asks me to press forward, do I think "forward" and it'll give the game a keystroke? Is this actually supported by any games at all right now?

Re:Current Support? (1)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614478)

My money says their software will simply map "thoughts" to keystrokes or mouse movements. I.e. a particular "thought" moves the mouse up a bit, or presses the fire key. Now, what I want is to be able to type normally with this baby - say hello to RSI free coding.

Re:Current Support? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614662)

RSI may one day be a thing of the past, but i'd be concerned about the chance of a severe electric shock. Have a read around the DIY EEG pages... there is a lot of concern about optically isolated sensors etc.

The problem is that you normally attach the sensors to your head with a conductive gel or something similar, so if the system fails in such a way that a large voltage potential develops between two sesors, or a sensor and ground, the path to your insides (eg your brain) has a lot less resistance than dry skin.

I'm sure that for $300 you'll be getting top class equipment with all the appropriate protection, but just wait until the cheap knockoffs start hitting the market.

Re:Current Support? (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614858)

its called a diode.

just hope they don't accidentally put them in backwards.

I would recommend having a friend test out one of these units before you use it yourself. don't use a close friend, though. just in case...

Re:Current Support? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614898)

its called a diode.

I don't think you understand the problem... a diode isn't going to help here.

All the EEG units i've seen (which isn't many) have battery operated sensors with an optically isolated connection to the processor, which is the only way you can be really safe.

Re:Current Support? (1)

Aleksej (1110877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22615080)

> do I think "forward" and it'll give the game a keystroke? No, you think "I really really really want this game to move my character forward relative to its position, please, please, please, Neural Impulse Actuator, do it.", and it'll give the game a stack overflow, if you are lucky.

I love gaming as much as anyone... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614414)

While many professional gamers spend many hours every day for several years training these reflexes

but that makes even me chuckle.

Re:I love gaming as much as anyone... (2, Insightful)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614580)

The Evolution series of fighting game tournaments can't even touch the type of thing we see in Quake, and Halo tournaments, yet people practice indeed several days at a time most days of the year for these tournaments. I can't even imagine the sort of time a player like Justin Wong, RX, Sanford Kelly, and Demon Hyo has to put in in order to compete at the level they do so consistently. Personally, I'm a casual tournament player and I've spent hours at a time, sometimes the better portion of a day simply exploring one move. Often, I'm only concerned with a few animation frames of that move, or perhaps just one specific hit box. It's that intense, and if you're a professional you BETTER be training that often if your livelihood is going to depend on it. Another funny things is that as an contest winning saxophone soloist, I often practiced just simple long times for hours at a time, trying to reproduce the previous note perfectly. It doesn't matter what you're trying to be the best at. It takes practice.

First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614418)

woot

Uses for this technology (5, Interesting)

whistlingtony (691548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614428)

No No No.... "reaction times can be cut by anything up to 60%" I don't care about reaction times. I care about my wrists. Frag gaming, just let me move my mouse for more than an hour without painful twinges and numbness.

Also, these idiots are missing a revolution here. I believe that something like this device coupled with HUD glasses will be a revolution as large as the mouse and GUI were back in the day.

Right now I am coupled to my computer. It got better when I got a laptop. Now my computer comes with me. Still though, I have to take it out, sit down, and while I'm using my computer I'm stuck staring at a screen and using a keyboard/mouse. The "Mobile" in mobile computing only counts when you're not using your computer.

Imagine if you didn't even have to take out your computer.

Leave your computer in your bookbag or pocket. Put on your display glasses so you can see your "screen" hovering in your view. Use a headband (perhaps hidden in your hat) to control the interface (and perhaps one day type). Use speech recognition to type and control.

No more hands. No more being chained to your computer. This frees us as much as the mouse/gui freed us, and will pave the way to opportunities I can't even imagine....

And these idiots are touting it as a gaming gimmick. Not even one mention of UI possibilities. Sigh.

I want my Shadowrun Comlink. The future is staring at us and people aren't even paying attention.

-Tony

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

yummy1991 (546737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614538)

> And these idiots are touting it as a gaming gimmick. Well .. i imagine the gaming industry helps spread technology like the porn industry.

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

TEMMiNK (699173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614544)

I could see this working well with the simple commands used by a mp3 player, thought control next and previous, play and pause? Sounds good to me.

Re:Uses for this technology (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614560)

Hey, it's you who is failing the imagination test.

"Mobile computing" is currently about doing the stuff you do on a desktop computer while you are not sitting at a desk. This even includes "making calls", even if you more often than not use your land line instead of something like Skype when you are at your desk.

In the future (the magical super future) the computers that are sewn into your clothes will not be helping you check your email.. they are will be helping you do all those things that just don't make any sense if you're not on the move:

    * Helping you avoid traffic jams
    * Telling you when the next bus/train/rocket is leaving on your regular route so you know to walk faster
    * Posting your position to Facebook - or whatever takes its place
    * Keeping track of where your friends are - cause kids in the future will care more about being able to find their friends than who can see where they are.
    * Enabling you to search the local environment for businesses, single women, whatever.
    * Interacting with all the new network enabled devices that haven't been invented yet.. and don't be surprised if you can't even get a coke from a vending machine if you don't have sufficient network presence.

and so on and so on.

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614740)

Yes but they will also let me check email, type responses, and look up stuff on the web. All of which can be controlled by thought. There will have to be some thought pattern or sequence standardization i reckon.

Ducks... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614562)

Probably Patented... And if not, does your mentioning it here count as prior art? Really good look at the future of computing, especially if this device works by reading thoughts. Hell, you could morse code characters with your thoughts initially, if need be.

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614564)

You remind me of the 80s / dotcom boom / every other prediction about technology.

Stop it.

HUD Glasses? Using it for UI? Speech recognition to type and control?

Maybe when the technology gets there, but it's no where near it yet. I don't want to wear something on my head all day, and reduce the movement afforded me by my wireless optical mouse. My mouse and keyboard skills are uber, however I don't have RSI, so maybe it's more necessary for you.

They'll get it (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614994)

This tech isn't new. It's just now coming down to where it isn't clunky and stupid. It will be further refined. I don't want to wear stupid headgear either, but if it was just a pair of sunglasses and a small band you could hide inside any hat... Hooray!

I can imagine where the whole package would one day fit inside standard glasses.

-T

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

fsiefken (912606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614566)

hi tony, tried several hud's with several computers and a mouse. when walking around, a mouse interface is not going to work - you cannot navigate space and use a point and click interface at the same time. So you have to go back to keyboard mode and preferably use an integrated audio desktop. the million dollar question is - can you type faster (no point and click) with this setup then with one hand (>30 wpm)?

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614588)

Leave your computer in your bookbag or pocket. Put on your display glasses so you can see your "screen" hovering in your view. Use a headband (perhaps hidden in your hat) to control the interface (and perhaps one day type). Use speech recognition to type and control.
Imagine an era where business people carry suitcases, wear shades, headbands, and seem to be walking around talking to themselves.

It's like a bad 80s/00s hybrid!

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

toonie (1231874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614704)

We already see people walk around talking to themselves, usually with blue flashing lights coming from their one of their ears.

Re:Uses for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614726)

Why would they need to talk? They can just think and type and control the UI with their thoughts. The brain would need a lot of learning time to do it .. probably people will have to learn this UI as kids.

Eventually .. if you need to open a file for example .. you will just need to think a sequence of actions (rapidly, instinctually) and the file will open up. Typing will be the same way .. I reckon at nearly the speed of thought.

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614836)

"No more being chained to your computer. This frees us as much as the mouse/gui freed us..."
by which you mean "further enslaved us". Go outside without any electronics at all and experience webIII - real life. It is even better than the shows about it....

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614976)

Heh, one of the "fixes" for my RSI was to take up gardening.

Re:Uses for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614880)

Sounds like Dennou Coil [wikipedia.org]

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614912)

You're quite right, but the problem is that the tech just doesn't work well enough yet for what you are saying.  Hell, find me those glasses, let alone the neural interface...

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22615088)

You're quite right, but the problem is that the tech just doesn't work well enough yet for what you are saying. Hell, find me those glasses, let alone the neural interface...
Here are (close to at least) those glasses:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/video/a29b/?cpg=68H [thinkgeek.com]

I can't find the link for it now, but I have seen a pair that also let you look 'through' them to see whats in front of you as well.
The above glasses just need a small camera mounted to the front for the same effect, so possible with todays tech just not quite at a production/commercial level right now.

Oh, and yea sorry, no neural interfaces yet :{

Re:Uses for this technology (2, Funny)

Mathness (145187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614922)

Use a headband (perhaps hidden in your hat) to control the interface ...
1940 called, they want you back. :p

Re:Uses for this technology (3, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614930)

If using the mouse hurts your wrist, get a trackman. They're awesome. Plus, you can turn down your pointer acceleration and still conserve a lot of space since you don't need to move anything but your thumb.

In any case, there's something even more important than having display glasses let you use your computer while mobile: This is a major step towards augmented reality [youtube.com] . We can do the visual overlay with some effort, and the audio overlay is as simple as a mic & headphones. But this is what will enable you to do something in virtual reality without appearing to be in a trance. Just fucking think about that for a second. Don't like your home decor? Think your way through the menus and *poof,* new decor is overlaid on your walls - no pesky laws of physics attached either. Instead of talking into a block, you talk to your friend's avatar right in front of you (which is copying your friend's facial expressions to boot). Teleconference? Telepresence. You'd never get lost again - stick a GPS card into your laptop and overlay a line leading you to your destination in your vision. Designing something? Have the design hover in front of you, see how it fits in.

I mean, augmented reality is pretty much the next best thing before the Singularity. Imagine living at the intersection of two realities, physical and cyber. An LCOS display in your glasses overlays the cyber world (however you wish to perceive it) onto a video feed captured by stereo cameras mounted on the rims. A next-generation cochlear implant overlays sounds from your computer - pings about new e-mails, new aim info, new searches, new news - straight into your mind. My book hovers in front of me and flips the page when my eyes reach the last line.

This is incomprehensibly awesome.

Re:Uses for this technology (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614934)

Right now I am coupled to my computer.

Man, I like my computers a lot, but not enough to go THAT FAR!

Where's the... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614430)

... Linux driver?

Re:Where's the... (1)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614450)

It shall be released once linux gaming makes it mainstream.

Screw you, 30 second timer.

Re:Where's the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614940)

What has "mainstream" got to do with it? Depending on many factors a niche market can be profitless to very profitable and with millions of Linux installations there is now critical mass for many products, particularly when from-scratch development is not needed.

Re:Where's the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614960)

Everything. Now go prostelize elsewhere.

Don't complain (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614522)

If you don't see a Linux driver for anything, don't complain - code. It isn't hard to learn, or to implement. Then, once you're finished you have a working device and you can be the hero of a small subset of the OSS community.

...or, have you forgotten that the entire reason OSS is supposed to be much better than closed source is that everyone/anyone can (and should) improve it?

Re:Don't complain (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614926)

Here's the problem. Not everybody who uses a computer is a programmer.

My solution is to wait for these devices to get better. I've used similar, and I highly doubt that this thing is worth it's own weight in salt, at least to an end-user. Eventually, however, these things will be better, and more common. If Linux hasn't gotten more popular yet, then maybe most devices will not have a Linux driver. On the other hand, maybe these will all share a driver. Keyboards and mice, for example, unless really bizarre, all work in Linux.

If these things have the potential I think they do, then one day many companies will be selling them. At least one of them will have a Linux driver. I will buy from one of them.

It is also worth noting that TFA does not mention OS, or drivers. It is possible that this thing already runs in Linux.

Re:Don't complain (2, Informative)

Aleksej (1110877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22615090)

Will they put the specifications out under a free unencumbered licence?

Right here (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614702)

cat /dev/urandom > /dev/input/js0

oh noes!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614440)

Just when you thought you'd be safe from the NSA peeping into your brain and having to defend yourself against thought crimes [wikipedia.org] ... next up, BushCo introduces legislation requiring all interweb users to be wearing this device.

My friend (5, Interesting)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614484)

My friend did his thesis on using (basically) this system to help invalids participate in the world, about 10 years ago. According to him, at first everyone can raise or lower all their brain waves at once, and within a month can raise or lower a specific wave. At first for it to be accurate, you need to have the system read muscle movement for facial tics, but gradually you can phase out this input as the patient becomes more adept at controlling his mental state. The hardest part of writing his thesis was getting time with the equipment.

Forget about games, this being mass-produced is a great step towards turning the handicapped into the handicapable .

Also, look for the New Agers gobbling this stuff up for their meditation ceremonies.

It's an E-meter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614638)

Looks like all they did was rip-off the Electropsychometer.
 
Use the technology for self-improvement, and it's a farce.... make games for the device and then it's just great!

Neuroprosthetics, bionic man control? (2, Interesting)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614486)

I'm not disabled myself
but the first thing that comes to mind with one of these things
is if it could be used to control motorized missing limbs?
wikipedia mentions neural interfaces that connect directly to the brain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroprosthetics [wikipedia.org]

if you could carry a laptop around with one of these little boxes
it might be a bit more convenient (and perhaps safer) that having direct brain implants
with enough time and miniaturization you might even be able to get feedback
not to mention the 6 million dollar coolness factor (plus tax)

$600 != $300 ??? (1)

maztec (677825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614508)

Sorry, bit confused, but from the article:

People wanting to get a slice of the action as soon as it arrives with retailers can expect to pay around $300USD - a bargain considering the R&D that has gone into the device.
Perhaps I missed something, but that is $300 USD, not $600 USD?

Re:$600 != $300 ??? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614634)

i'm confused myself, as i've seen some articles quoting the price as 300, which is about $600 USD, and others saying $300.

Anal fisting rocks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614510)

Will this allow me to cyber fist my cyber boyfriends anus?

Zonk is gay (1)

lennyhell (869433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614518)

Unlike an electrocardiography (ECG) machine commonly used in the medical industry the OCZ neural impulse actuator doesn't use electrode cream, which is a good thing because the last thing gamers would want to do is lube up before playing their favorite game.
It appears that this product is not suitable for lunix faggot or a slashdot editors like Zonk.

bioptentialsisnotaword (3, Funny)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614520)

Bioptentials is not a word. There are plenty of words they could have used, there was no need to make one up.

Re:bioptentialsisnotaword (3, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614528)

The part that was quoted had the word mistyped. The word is later correctly spelled as biopotential.

Re:bioptentialsisnotaword (1)

Nocterro (648910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614626)

I'd take issue with the word more if it didn't fit so perfectly with the five-year-old-wrote-it style of article. Have any other sites got a decent article that doesn't read like "New Technology for Dummies' and has some information?

Nothing's right I'm torn (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614540)

I'm torn as to whether this would improve gaming ability or decrease gaming ability.

For instance it is unlikely that the sensor will be able to map the complex ideas of the mind, instead it would reduce it to basic commands, so they can be mapped to the computer.

However, this would mean you would have to cognitively think of something, to product the desired result.

Now if I'm trying to think of something to produce the result, how much does this conflict with me strategizing?

At present the commands are mapped to physical movements, which eventually become subconscious and can be used quite well.

However given you need to consciously think about something to train this thing in the first place, doesn't that imply that you will always need to consciously think about it?

I don't think this would be better than our current technology, until we can intemperate what the mind wants, as opposed to adapting the controller for the mind.

I'd like it for fast typing, given it could keep up with my mind, and given I could train it to read my internal dialog.

(Disclaimer: I am not an authority on anything this subject or any subject like this. In true Slashdot form I didn't even read the article, just got opinionated about it based on the summary.)

Escape key (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614678)

it is unlikely that the sensor will be able to map the complex ideas of the mind, instead it would reduce it to basic commands, so they can be mapped to the computer.

I wonder if it could pick up the OhFuckGetmeOutOfHere signal in the brain when things go really bad and bind it to generic backout/escape/undo actions. Handy for ejector seats in military aircraft too.

I work with ATC user interfaces and I wonder if something like this could be used to sense cognitive overload when the controllers job gets busy.

competitor (5, Informative)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614550)

Looks like they may be beating http://www.emotiv.com/ [emotiv.com] 's "EPOC Neuroheadset" to market by several months. The claim for the EPOC was that it would be available for the holidays at the end of 2008. Interesting that they are also planning to sell for the same $300 price as this OCZ one.

Pricetag in summary doesn't match article... (1)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614570)

I've read a couple of articles about it now, and they've both said $300 but the summary says $600... what gives?

Re:Pricetag in summary doesn't match article... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614746)

Projected change in value of the US dollar over the next 2 weeks perhaps? I didn't think it was falling quite that fast though, it will probably only be $500.

Old Hat New Trick (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614594)

They had something very similar back in the day for the Sega Genesis I do believe. It was marketed as 'mind controlled' or what have you but in all actually got it's input from the muscle movements around your eyes which in turn the head band you would be wearing would interpret as some sort of signal. If I remember correctly it performed about as well as an NES Power Glove. [youtube.com]

Re:Old Hat New Trick (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614608)

I hate to reply to myself but,

However, the nia does have a big advantage over the traditional mouse with OCZ claiming that reaction times can be cut by anything up to 60%.
Why that may very well be true, but we are talking about milliseconds here... If I remember correctly, that is an issue in neuro science as to why we don't notice the actual lag from when our brain sends the command and our muscles respond... I believe it was in an Scientific American 'Mind' quarterly from a year or two ago (I'll dig it out later if need be). Either way theres a lag between command and response, but in the 200-300ms region (which we don't perceive, one of the grand mysteries of the mind). So apparently we can achieve a 125-150ms response time with this gear. For gaming. One tends to wonder why this wouldn't already have been used in other areas, most notably the defense industry... Sounds a little iffy.

Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614598)

Can this be used to control the bionic hand in my lab to jack me off?

PSI Menus! (0, Redundant)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614604)

This would be the perfect input device for PSI Menus! Instead of Linear Thinking Menus (where you always think downward, but for a different distance to select for each menu item), PSI Menus let you think in different directions to select different items.

-Don

So what happens (2, Funny)

Velocir (851555) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614628)

When you're playing Battlefield 1942 and you see a tank shell coming for your face? I find it very hard to believe this kind of technology will be able to interpret the "OH SHIT" reflex accurately...

unclear what this does (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614632)

It's unclear from the description what this actually does. I don't think they claim that it reads electrical signals from the brain directly. There are lots of other electrical signals that it might be reading.

Of course, whatever it reads, it may still be useful.

Re:unclear what this does (1)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614686)

They say it uses biopotentials which basically means it picks up on the really faint voltage that finds its way to the skin after excitable cells in muscle and neural cells in the brain discharge. We're not at the "MRI in a box" stage yet where you can directly see things light up, so this is the best that's gonna happen for now. This is more like EEG in a box.

This has been done before, though, in the 90s with cursors too. Unfortunately, it was slow as all hell and took months to master. The apparatus, I assume, was much bigger as well. If this takes less than a month to master I will be impressed - any more than that and gamers will give up on it.

Anyone else having trouble believing this? (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614648)

After reading the summary and then the article, I find myself sitting here baffled that this might even work. Hell, if I can even get this to move my mouse around a screen accurately I'll jump up and down with amazement. Maybe I'm just way behind on how much has been done in this field, but I would have imagined something likes this would be at least a decade away. After the reading the Slashdot summary I assumed that someone had decided to move April fool's to March 1st.

Am I the only one?

Re:Anyone else having trouble believing this? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614664)

You're way behind the times. Stuff like this has been in use for a few decades now in varying levels of accuracy in how it can translate the impulses.

Re:Anyone else having trouble believing this? (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614696)

That's strange, because I can distinctly recall articles on Slashdot in the past year talking about similar technology that specifically stated that this type of technology was many, many years away from being sophisticated enough to be useful, let alone mass marketed. I'll have to do some searching.

Re:Anyone else having trouble believing this? (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614892)

It works on the same principle as Biofeedback [wikipedia.org] , which has been around in some form or another since the 50's. It's definitely more sophisticated than it was half a century ago, but it's been viable for a while now and it's really cool. Great to see it coming to mass market, I'll probably pick one up when I can spare the coin.

Awesome military applications? (3, Insightful)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614652)

Brain interfaced targetting support? better UVA flight manuvers? Attack helicopters needing only one person because the pilot can now control the gun with his mind? If the military thought using xbox 360 controls was innovative... wait until we present these things to the brass!

An important question. (1)

Aleksej (1110877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614718)

Will it and its software be encumbered in 50 patents, full of brainwave-based DRM sending logs upstream, and WindowsNT-only?

Linux drivers? Time to get started. (2, Insightful)

alizard (107678) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614768)

I hope to see people buying these and writing Linux hacks to get it working on Linux as soon as it goes on sale... maybe we can have a kernel driver by the 2.6.30 release?

I then hope to see people writing FOSS APIs that can be used in non-gaming applications (word processor, anyone? Lots of embedded possibilities... imagine using this as a UI for graphics applications... whether for paint or CAD/CAM apps)

Hey...Slashdot (0, Flamebait)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614778)

Your a month early...April's fool is NEXT month!

Dial Box (0)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614822)

I do a lot of molecular structure and I'd friggin' love to rig one of these as a replacement for the medieval SGI dial box [sharpertechnology.com] . By the way, when are you gamers going to (1) demand gaming in stereo video and (2) demand a decent trackball? Don't you know that if a large consumer fragment wanted these things, games would be more fun and also science would benefit immeasurably? I mean, this [4compuelectron.com] couldn't be possibly be a fun controller, could it?

Re:Dial Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614886)

That is a fun controller and "decent trackball" is an oxymoron. Just because you compile code on a 30-year-old Sun machine in a dungeon somewhere doesn't mean everyone else should have to live with the horrible peripherals of yesteryear.

Re:Dial Box (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614918)

"decent trackball" is an oxymoron

You have to be kidding. For example [xnet.com] . The problem with kids these days is that they are to young to remember when trackballs weighed 2.5 pounds and rolled on metal bearings.

Don't they mean "sensor"? (2, Interesting)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614896)

How can the product be an actuator, and consist of sensors? Aren't those like ... opposites? Am I just being old-fashioned in thinking of the device as a sensor, used by the computer, to detect brain activity? Is a joystick also an actuator?

The article is wrong... (3, Funny)

adamchou (993073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22614972)

From TFA... "the OCZ neural impulse actuator doesn't use electrode cream, which is a good thing because the last thing gamers would want to do is lube up before playing their favorite game."

They clearly haven't tested it with this game [3dslut.com] yet...

Speaking strictly as a consumer, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22614974)

I can't wait for that product to hit the market.
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