OCZ pimps its Neural Impulse actuator

COMPUTEX — One of OCZ’s major attractions at the show is its Neural Impulse Actuator—the “mind control” gaming input device it announced back at CeBit. The folks at OCZ invited me up to their suite at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Taipei to try it out, and I had time to give it a shot and also get the most unflattering picture of myself ever taken.

That’s what five hours of sleep does to you, folks. Anyway, this control system is basically a headband with three electrodes underneath that sense facial muscle movements. After some quick calibration, we fired up a game of Unreal Tournament 2004, and I was able to move forward in the game by lightly clenching my jaw muscles and to fire by clenching them just a bit harder. I could also look side-to-side to strafe, but actually looking around in the game was handled by the mouse.

Overall, the control system felt like it had potential, and I did get a few kills. Still, it wasn’t without snags: my in-game character kept jumping inexpectedly, and I had to stay conscious of all my facial movements—something easier said than done while playing an action game. OCZ says it expects to introduce the Neural Impulse Actuator by the end of the year. The final product will be wireless, smaller, and more “user-friendly” than the prototype.

Of course, the NIA wasn’t OCZ’s only product on display. OCZ also showed us its FireWire thumb drive, which it expects to introduce in 8-10 weeks. The drive will come with capacities of 2GB to 16GB, and it will have respective read and write speeds of 45-50MB/s and 40-45MB/s.

In a demo machine, OCZ also had a pair of its upcoming Platinum series DDR3 modules. Those will be rated for DDR3-1333 spec with 5-5-5 timings and a voltage setting of 1.7V. OCZ tells us they can overclock to 1500-1600MHz.

OCZ showed us its upcoming HydroJet cooler, as well. This heatsink is actually an all-in-one liquid cooling system, and OCZ tells us it has a base made not of copper or aluminum, but carbon nanotubes. (Excuse the blurry picture, I was running late for another appointment.)

Last, but not least, OCZ had a PC Power & Cooling TurboCool power supply with a 1200W power rating on display. OCZ recently acquired PCP&C, and it looks like it intends to keep the lineup alive—at least in the short term.

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