Nintendo will find just about any new way for gamers to play, including through simply inhaling and exhaling.
In the old days, a controller was necessary if you wanted to play the latest videogames. Thanks to Nintendo, the days of controller-exclusive gaming are over, with the use of newfangled touchscreens and motion gaming at the forefront. Nintendo is far from done innovating, as revealed by the Wii Vitality Sensor’s patent information which shows that Nintendo wants to give players breath control.
Siliconera uncovered the patent that details how the Vitality Sensor works, and gives an example of the kinds of games it will be used to play. The Vitality Sensor, which clips onto a person’s finger, contains a light source inside the top and a light sensor in the bottom. It can detect changes in the blood content level of a user’s finger by measuring the light absorbed through blood protein hemoglobin, which will increase or decrease depending on pulse rate.
A person’s breathing controls this pulse rate, which is one method through which Nintendo will allow the Vitality Sensor to control games. The patent shows a simple game where a blob-like creature automatically moves in a single direction through an environment. The floor and ceiling of this environment will tilt, raise, and lower as the blob moves along. Inhaling will make the blob’s “hat” move up, while exhaling will make it move down, adding points to the player’s score. In addition, players have to tilt the Wii Remote to keep the blob from touching the floor and losing points.
Siliconera also points out that Nintendo filed a trademark for Wii Relax, which would obviously be a game related to a person’s “Relax” age. I don’t know about you, but playing games through breathing and tilting sounds pretty stressful to me, not that it isn’t intriguing. Still, at some point you’ve got to wonder if the wave of controller-free gaming is moving into the unnecessary.