Nintendo, the company whose name is synonymous with video games and entertainment, has announced that they are working on a new fatigue and sleep deprivation sensor as the first product from their ne health and lifestyle division. According to Nintendo’s chief executive Satoru Iwata, the QOL Sensor will measure all of a person’s vital signs as well as the details of their sleep activities and will deliver them to the cloud. The device will be a bedside unit, and will not require any kind of interaction or to be in contact with the consumer’s body.
Nintendo had revealed several months ago that it was going to be expanding its consumer offerings into the health market with a range of products being called Quality of Life, and at a recent meeting Iwata revealed details about their sleep monitor. He said, “Inside the QOL Sensor is a non-contact radio frequency sensor which measures such things as the movements of your body, breathing and heartbeat, all without physically touching your body.” The data that will be transmitted to cloud servers will be analyzed and translated into visual graphs that the consumer will be able to access. Iwata says that the hope is that by having access to this information, people will gain a more comprehensive understanding of how sleep impacts their health and what they can do to not only improve the amount of rest that they get, but also how changing their exercise habits or nutritional habits might make them feel better as well.
“Since fatigue per se is not regarded as a disease in the medical world, it is said to be a field where sufficient research has yet to be conducted. We have been fortunate to encounter several experts who have been conducting cutting-edge research in the science of fatigue. Together we are now developing technology to estimate fatigue.” For those who are hoping that the technology will be something that they can incorporate into an existing Nintendo game system such as the Wii U, it looks like this is going to be a completely separate purchase rather than an add on.
To ensure that their QOL Sensor is scientifically sound, Nintendo has enlisted the help of Dr. Yasuyoshi Watanabe, a sleep expert. They are also collaborating with U.S.-based ResMed, a company that develops a variety of medical devices designed to assist with breathing and sleep disorders. According to Dr. Watanabe, “Accurate and simplified fatigue measurements enable self-comprehension of the body, which is very significant for contemporary humans, and I think it can be used as the benchmark to improve our QOL. We will all do our utmost to achieve this world-first product.”
Iwata points out that Nintendo began 125 years ago as a playing cards manufacturer, but has now developed into an organization dedicated to improving quality of life in many ways, from entertainment to its newest venture, overall health.