Nintendo is developing a sensor that will track its owner’s sleep habits and suggest ways to improve them, the company announced in an investor presentation today. In January, Nintendo shared plans to expand its business past very fun video games and into “quality of life” products that improve people’s health but are probably less fun. This sleep monitor, produced in partnership with a medical company that specializes in sleep disorders and already sells a contactless sleep sensor, will be the first product in this new initiative.
During the presentation, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata explained how the sensor will work and the philosophy behind it. Keeping in mind that people don’t want to fiddle with or wear unnecessary crap when trying to fall asleep, the sensor will live on the user’s bedside table, spitting out radio waves all over their sleeping body and recording their movements, breathing, and heartbeat. It then sends that data to Nintendo, where computers analyze it and “visualize” the results. Nintendo will then suggest ways to improve your sleep and eliminate fatigue. The presentation cited exercising and changing one’s diet as examples, glossing over more obvious advice such as “Listen, falling asleep while Netflix burns through episodes of Twin Peaks is never a good idea” or “Your weird Tetris dreams are really screwing up your sleep, so maybe you shouldn’t play it this much before bed.”
“With Nintendo’s know-how of hospitality as well as of making people want to continue, we will encourage people to enjoy using it every day. As a result, a meaningful cycle will be established aiming to improve people’s [quality of life],” Iwata said, according to Nintendo’s rough translation of the presentation. Whether or not video games will enter into this cycle in some way has yet to be mentioned. According to a Reuters report on the announcement, the device and its passive-aggressive nagging will launch by March 2016.