OCZ NIA – Will Gaming With Brain Waves Take Off?
Using the NIA Software
OCZ has developed their own application to interface with the NIA. This application will guide the user on how to use the NIA, and allow the user to view and adjust the sensitivity of the NIA to meet their gaming needs.
The first time someone uses the NIA, I recommend actually going through the embedded tutorial. The series of videos and slides will show you the full potential of how the NIA could be used. It was pretty impressive to see the various ways you could customize how the NIA can translate your brain’s signals to keyboard input.
Each time you put the NIA on, you should run the calibration in order to get the most out of the NIA. Each time you put the headband on, the sensors could read you a little differently and the calibration routine should help minimize the difference in sensitivity.
Once the calibration is finished, the application will either tell you it was a success if your signal average was below the green line, or tell you there may be a problem with the NIA being able to interpret your signals and that you should try re-calibrating. Usually you just need to readjust the headband and relax your head as much as possible and the signal will go down.
OCZ has numerous videos on their website that also point out that the NIA headband is very sensitive to electrical interference. So if you have continuous trouble with your signal baseline being below the green line, make sure you are far enough away from any electrical appliances. I encountered this problem when standing too close to my LCD TV. This may also pose a problem since you will undoubtedly be using the NIA in close proximity to your PC and monitor, so OCZ recommends placing the NIA black box in such a position that you can be touching the metal box to ground the NIA unit while it is in use. This is one major drawback to using the NIA if you are too close to electrical interference.
The Brainfingers screen shows the various individual signals that the headband can detect from your head. Glance refers to detecting eye movement and Muscle detects forhead muscle flexes. The Muscle signal seemed to be the easiest to control with regular reliability. The alpha and beta channels can be used to bind different key strokes, but I was unable to determine how to hone these signals in a useful manner.
OCZ built in a little pong game to help you practice using your Muscle signal to move your paddle up and down. This was very useful to make sure the NIA is properly positioned on your head and interpreting the Muscle signal.