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Where in the world is Nintendo's Quality of Life Sensor?
Nintendo just had their investors meeting, and while some good news was dropped on the progress of mobile development and the Nintendo NX, there was a distinct lack of mention of a certain piece of hardware that Nintendo has been hard at work on: their Quality of Life sensor. Not a single investor asked a question about it, and Nintendo did not reveal any new information on it, despite initial reports claiming a March 2016 release.
Read after the break to learn more about what the sensor is supposed to do, and what we can expect from Nintendo regarding the sensor
The Quality of Life sensor that Nintendo is working on is different than anything currently imbedded in your smartphone or smartwatch. It doesn’t track your activity, but rather the lack of it; specifically sleep. Yes indeed it does see you when you’re sleeping, and it does know when you’re awake, but it isn’t Old Saint Nicholas.
One of the key features of their sleep sensor is that you don’t have to interact with it in any way or wear it, which is what is required from a lot of current health devices. In fact, when I first got my phone, I tried to use the health applications fairly actively, however, it soon became a hassle to log everything I was eating; there was a lack of convenience, which is a problem Nintendo is actively trying to solve.
Does the silence mean that Nintendo has pushed their Quality of Life sensor aside for a stronger focus on video-games? While we can only speculate this, my personal stance on this is that they have not sacrificed anything in their company to work on this. Nintendo, being a large company, is able to dedicate people to work on specific projects. It would be unlikely, and silly, for them to pull people from the QoL team and re-allocate them to the Pikmin 4 team.
I think the silence is specifically there to shift our focus away from the sensor and more towards their gaming consoles, which is what they desire to sell more of at the moment. The two markets for games and health devices could not be more different, which could be why Nintendo is not trying to talk about it amongst video-games, but may talk about it on its own at a later point in time. We are in fact still due for a new Nintendo Direct sometime later this year.
If you recall a while back, Nintendo was working on a Vitality Sensor that would work in conjunction with the Wii, and probably with Wii Fit. This product never made it to the market, which has some people skeptical about the QoL sensor, however, last year Iwata said that the reason the Vitality Sensor never made it to the market was specifically because people had to interact with it in some way shape or form.
Some of the neat technologies in the QoL sensor include a non-contact radio frequency sensor, which will probably be able to track everything about your sleep including your movements. Using a microphone it will track the noises that occur around you and possibly from you while you sleep. It may even be able to track your heart rate without being in direct contact with you, which is pretty revolutionary.
One of the patents regarding the sensor includes a projector to project messages onto your ceiling, again showcasing the fact that you do not need to interact with the device. The device is also capable of detecting your emotions, and it even has one of those new-fangled alarm systems where when it’s time to wake you up, it actually wakes you up, unlike those times where your smartphone fails to do the job.
Overall, while there is no news regarding the sensor, there is more than likely no need to panic. Nintendo hasn’t even attached a name to the sensor yet, and so far, they haven’t responded to me on twitter over my suggestion of Wii Sleep. In any case, we should hear some news regarding the device soon, and I can tell you it is going to be worth purchasing, as sleep is one of the single most important factors affecting your daily life.
Nintendo hit the nail on the head with this one. Will it be coming in March 2016?. The window for that time of release is getting smaller and smaller. However, Nintendo has proven that nothing is impossible, so maybe we will see it come sooner than we expect.