A Blog for Cool Gadgets, Smart Things and New Products…
OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator (NIA) is an innovative device that allows you to control games and practically everything on your computer with your brain or more exactly with your thoughts and not only by them. You should have in mind that the NIA is not a complete replacement for your mouse or keyboard, but an additional accessory that can give you better control of your PC, but you may still need to use additional controllers for better functionality. What the Neural Impulse Actuator actually does is to translate electrical biosignals of your body directly into computer commands… these include brainwaves, eye and muscle movements. You can combine the readings of multiple bio signals by building a custom game profile so that a given thought can be translated to the PC as a fire command in the game (simulating the pressing of the left mouse button for instance). The NIA comes with some predefined profiles that will allow you to start learning how to use the device and then you can extend and make your own gaming profiles to achieve the best results.
You should have in mind that NIA is not an easy device to master, it will take you a lot of time and effort to learn how to adequately use the device at first, because it is something new and not as straightforward as a mouse or keyboard that requires just to press a given button. So controlling your PC with your thoughts is not as easy as you think, because you’ll have to learn to control the alpha and beta brainwaves that the device detects in a way, that they can be used for movement of your character in a game for instance. And that is the hardest part of learning to use the device, because gaining control of the eye and muscle movement detection by the device will require you just a few hours, but for the brainwaves functionality it could take you up to a few weeks.
For the moment OCZ NIA works just fine under Windows XP and Vista, but only in the 32-bit versions of these operating systems. There are already beta drivers available for 64-bit Vista OS, but if you are running 64-bit Windows XP you’ll not be able to use the NIA, so have that in mind before ordering the device. Also you should know that some users are experiencing problems with the device related to inadequate grounding of their computers or electromagnetic interferences, but these issues usually can be quickly solved by some reading and experimenting with the device. After all NIA is a the first very affordable commercial brain computer interface and you should be prepared for some unexpected things to happen, because that area of development is still quite new, but that makes the usage of the device even more fun and interesting, provided that you are willing to take that additional time. If you are not ready to experiment using this new cool gadget you better wait for some more time or just stick to using your mouse and keyboard for now… 😉
The current price of this innovative device is just $136.99 ($116.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate at the moment!).
PicoLCD is a family of Intelligent USB LCD displays with true HID USB interface, that you can connect to your PC with ease and use them to display any info you want on them. Current end existent products range from simple 2×20 LCDs, 4×20 as well as graphic models. The picoLCD has strong application support (SDK included) for Windows XP and Linux as well as native Vista SideShow auxiliary display driver support and SDK. But the most interesting model seems to be the PicoLCD 4×20 Auxiliary Display with Vista Sideshow support, because it is more affordable, quite useful and even very cool looking, compared to the simpler smaller screens or the graphical models. That is why we are going to look into the PicoLCD 4×20 Auxiliary Display…
You can use this cool external device to show Vista Sideshow applications (stocks, weather, music information, news and sports updates) on a 2nd dedicated LCD display that also looks very cool on your desk, especially with the blue backlight of the screen. The PicoLCD display has the ability to display 4 lines of text data with up to 20 characters on each line with gives you the ability to display quite a lot of data on the screen. The unit is self-powered via a full speed USB connection so there is no need for any external power supply. The device also has some built-in functional buttons allowing direct control on some of it’s functions, without having to touch the keyboard or the mouse on the PC. However you should have in mind that the PicoLCD 4×20 Auxiliary Display requires Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, and that the Vista Home Edition does not come with Sideshow functionality supported. You can also use the device with Linux, because it also has drivers for different Linux distributions available.
The price of the PicoLCD 4X20-Sideshow is $49.95.
Here is something quite interesting, a special socket adapter that allows you to insert an old Celeron or Pentium processor using socket 478 on a brand new socket 775 motherboard. You just have to insert the special adapter in the LGA-775 socket of the new motherboard and inside it you just place the old socket 478 CPU just as if the motherboard has been designed for it. This way you can breathe a new life to your old high-end Pentium (preferably) processor that still packs some punch and not having to trow it away or give it to someone. Now what would be an even more interesting product is an adapter that will allow the use of a new Core 2 Duo processors using socket 775 on older motherboards, designed for socket 478 CPUs… 😉
The CPU adapter is priced at $20.48 and you get it with free shipping.