News Article

Vitality Sensor Details and Game Ideas Emerge in Patent Application

Posted by James Newton

It's all about haemoglobin, apparently

E3 2010, TGS 2010 and Nintendo's Conference all came and went without even so much as a snifter of new information about the Vitality Sensor. Although Nintendo is still keeping the device behind closed doors, Siliconera has uncovered patent applications that reveal more about how the sensor works as well as its potential applications.

Essentially, the technology works by emitting a tiny amount of light at your finger and detecting how much light bounces back to a sensor. As you become more stressed, your pulse increases, sending more blood around the body, including your fingertips. Haemoglobin, a protein used for transporting oxygen, absorbs some of the light emitted by the sensor, so the more haemoglobin present in the fingertip the less light can be absorbed. In short, stress = more haemoglobin = lower light readings in the sensor.

Okay, science lesson over: how can this apply to gameplay? The patent gives an example of a player piloting a flying character around a confined space, with the player's breathing having to match the ceiling's shape to allow the craft safely through. It may not sound like the most thrilling way to spend an evening, but then it's not supposed to.

Hopefully one day soon Nintendo will reveal more of the Vitality Sensor's applications, but until then let your imaginations run wild.


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User Comments (28)



SuperMarioFan96 said:

Wow I completely forgot about this. I think it's better if they just don't release it at this point....



MeloMan said:

The Vitality sensor will come in handy for future Dragonball Z games if I need to raise my power level. AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!! It's over... 3000?!?!



MasterGraveheart said:

@MeloMan: Sorry, Melo, but with that power level, Nappa will always remain the Patty Cake Champion.

(If you don't get that joke... ask me about it, heh)



King_Boo said:

I thought it could be used in stealth games, you stay calm you stay invisible. or like eternal darkness like a sanity meter that reads your heart rate. or on that, any horror game that scares you, tells how you react and changes future scares by that information.



Robo-goose said:

I can think of ten awesome ways that this could be used.
I hope to see most of them utilised.



MeloMan said:

4. MasterGraveheart
Yeah, that one went over me though I know remember Nappa. Ask me why I started thinking about The Ginyu forces rock, paper, scissors game,



danschemen said:

i really don't care to much about this thing i think it's going to crash and burn just like the wii speak.



Hardy83 said:

Like others have said. Crash and burn.
It'll turn a profit and then quickly be forgotten. Lol



Radixxs said:

Unless this is actually supported by Nintendo and other companies, it will end up like the balance board or Wii Speak. I got Wii Speak 2 years ago, and haven't used it once.



SilverBaretta said:

1) Wtf is that flying saucer thing in the patent image supposed to be?

2) If I recall correctly, Tetris 64 had a sort of pulse detector that sped up or slowed down gameplay depending on how fast your heart was beating. Maybe something like that would come into play?



Capt_N said:

Like I said before, I heard a rumor a while back that this was actually going to send N data about what games we play that make us excited, so they can market us similar games to make profit.



Bobpie said:


Nope, it's a common misconception.
People spell words like 'foetus' and 'paedophile' 'fetus' and 'pedophile', much like the 'haemoglobin' thing. Just annoying silent letters.



LuWiiGi said:

The British spell words in strange ways and the Americans feel the need to rename everything. Anyway, this Vitality Sensor is intruiging.



triforceofcourage said:

might be a cool add-on as a control mechanism might not (most likely not). to soon to tell (no its bad)
()=inside my head
regular typing=fact



b_willers said:

Your right, I remember Nintendo talking about 'Bio Tetris' around the same time as N64 launched which did as you described. I always thought it was coming to the Game Boy though.

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