Nintendo’s latest internal financial report came with a presentation on Tuesday from the company’s president, Satoru Iwata, who took the opportunity to announce a new type of product being developed by the gamemaker: a non-contact sleep sensor. (To wait, Real?)
While no design or product name was announced, Iwata repeatedly described an upcoming “Quality of Life Sensor” intended to sit next to a user’s bed while sleeping. At night, the product visually records “movements of your body, breathing and heart rate” and then uploads the resulting data to Nintendo’s cloud servers so that a companion app can analyze your sleep and make suggestions for a better night’s sleep in the future.
“Fatigue and sleep are themes that are rather difficult to visualize in more objective ways,” Iwata said. “At Nintendo, we believe that if we could visualize them, there would be great potential for many people, regardless of age, gender, language or culture.”
The presentation also explained why a similar Nintendo project, the Wii Vitality Sensor, never made it to market. Iwata highlighted important aspects of a health-assistance device, saying such devices worked better if users didn’t have to wear, touch or operate them.
Iwata named US medical device manufacturer Resmed as a partner in this project. As it turns out, Resmed’s latest product, the S+ Sleep Sensor, sounds almost identical to the QOS Sensor, as it also performs contactless sleep analysis and syncs to a smartphone app. (The Resmed product, which launched this month, can be yours today for $149.99.) Still, Nintendo insisted that its own Japanese sleep experts and its “video game knowledge of ‘hospitality'” would hold the key. are at the completion of the project. .
Other Nintendo news: sales, pre-downloads
Iwata has also reaped some sales figures, including 3.22 million units Super Smash Bros. for 3DS sold as of late September and 234,000 combined first week sales of the redesigned Nintendo 3DS (in regular and “XL” sizes) in Japan earlier this month. Notably, in his presentation, Iwata did not give any specific numbers on sales of Nintendo Wii U hardware and software.
He did, however, describe an upcoming change to Nintendo eShop, which will soon allow buyers to buy a game online and download it directly to a 3DS or Wii U with Spotpass, so it’s ready to play when the customer gets home. . Interested Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U shoppers will also soon be able to pre-download that game if they purchase it digitally before the November 21 launch date, while other Wii U and 3DS games can expect similar download functionality starting next year.
We knew after a January presentation that Nintendo was interested in “non-wearable health monitoring,” which sounded like a bold, if vague, statement outside of its popular Wii Fit product line. While the presentation repeatedly mentioned a “quality of life platform”, Iwata did not mention or suggest that other similar devices were in development, and he gave no timeline for when users in Japan or elsewhere could expect to see Nintendo’s sensor in the market. store shelves will be.
Instead, he made specific references to the growing smartphone ecosystem around the world, an ecosystem that Nintendo has long avoided entrenching in. [smartphones] to visually represent sleep and fatigue status, it would be a shame not to use them to, for example, check status or provide service to users,” said Iwata. “As with the definition of entertainment, Nintendo is willing to expand the definition of ‘platform’ without being bound by traditional thinking.”