Friday, October 24, 2008

One Hundred Dollar Brain Wave Switches

(Don't worry I am sure the cost will quadruple when people discover its use for those with disabilities.)

Kevin over at NCS-Tech shared today that the OCZ Company is offering this Neural Impulse Actuator (NIA) for about one hundred dollars.

Designed for gamers, what I am called a "Brain Switch", this nifty device transfers activity from the muscles, brain and eyes created by minuscule movements and changing levels of neural activity basically into three different switch clicks. As we all know, it only takes one switch to interact and communicate and three switches to drive a power chair. If users can learn how to control just one of the switches in the NIA whole new worlds could open for them. If they learn how to use all three - the can drive a power chair.

The software that comes with the NIA allows you to choose what action each of the three switches will complete - a click, an enter, a tab, etc. Any keystroke, mouse or joystick movement you need.

What needs to be mentioned is that even typical users can find the learning curve to be "steep". Some complain of 30+ minutes at a time to master using the NIA each time they try it, by which they mean mastering each of the three switches, all at the same time, with enough nuance to play a relatively tough game. Like anything else our students will vary, we may need to spend a lot of time teaching students how to activate just one of the switches on the NIA.

Basically this is Brainfingers for gamers (only Brainfingers is $2,100), in fact the software is built on Brainfingers software, but at about one hundred dollars why not play with it and make it NIA for people with disabilities?

Order NIA from Mwave.

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